BI to assist the EU in new tax policy reform

11 February 2015

As the first and only Norwegian business school, BI will carry out a tax research project with the EU. - The aim is to bridge the gap of different tax policies across borders, says BI`s representative in the committee, Professor Benedicte Brøgger.

The EU is calling for a long-term action to address the issue of tax measures clashing across borders. With research contributed by ten leading EU and non-EU universities, including BI, the project will reform fundamental fiscal policies effecting areas such as adequacy and stability of revenues, distributional equality and administrative efficiency.

- The aim to harmonise tax systems between countries has been in place for a long time, both in the OECD, EU and, for that matter, in Norway and the Nordic countries. The transactions within and between companies across national borders has become more complicated, in addition to there being competition between countries to attract investments. This increases the risk of a reduction in the system legitimacy, says Brøgger.

A four-year collaboration

The four-year project will design the steps needed to harmonise tax and fiscal policy in the EU, always with economic growth and secure social conditions in mind. Along with several globally-leading scientists, BI will assist in providing  a range of scientific approaches and perspectives.

- The objective of the Nordic contribution to the project is to develop models for organizing tax work, based on an analysis of corporate, advisor and administrative understanding of what is ‘appropriate tax’, in an economic, legal and cultural framework, says Brøgger.

The research project, beginning on 1st March 2015, will be carried out by an international team of interdisciplinary researchers from 11 different institutions. With a budget of approximately 2.5 million Euros, the project has several components including modeling and comparing various tax systems, calculating how tax affects equality, pensions and population trust systems, and what methods of tax administration result in the appropriate tax.

The project will supplement existing tax research with new methods such as ‘Follow-up research’, where specific activities and documents are observed over time, formative feedback processes and mapping of actual experiences with tax compliance. The Nordic contribution to the project will also provide a basis for comparison with the UK and Ireland.

The full title of the project is: ’FairTax’- Revisioning the ‘Fiscal EU’: Fair, Sustainable, and Coordinated Tax and Social Policies'. It will run from 2015-2019.

Partners in the tax research project:

  1. (Coordinator) Åsa Gunnarsson, Umeå University (UmU),  Sweden
  2. Lotta Björklund Larsen, Linköpings universitet (LiU), Sweden
  3. Benedicte Brögger, Handelshøyskolen BI, Norway
  4. Karen Boll, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
  5. Ann Mumford, King’s College London, UK
  6. Lynne Oates, University of Exeter (UNEXE), UK
  7. Emer Mulligan, National University of Ireland, Galway Ireland
  8. Margit Schratzenstaller-Altzinger, WIFO, Austria
  9. Dana Nerudova, Mendel University, Czech Republic
  10. Kathleen Lahey, Queen’s University at Kingston, Canada
  11. Leonel Cesarino Pessôa, Getulio Vargas Foundation Law School, Brazil
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