December 12, 2012 1:58 am

Fanciful thoughts on corporation tax and the wealthy

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From Prof Michael Devereux.

Sir, Paul Sweeney apparently believes that corporation tax ultimately falls on high net-worth individuals who reside in lightly taxed jurisdictions (Letters, December 6). This is fanciful. The incidence of corporation tax is open to debate, but it is reasonable to believe that a significant part of the tax falls on domestic workers and future pensioners at home and abroad. Like most others, I am in favour of a fair and progressive tax system. But the best way to be sure of taxing the rich is to tax the rich, not corporations.

As for my own research, my academic independence is not for sale. The details of the various funding streams of the Centre for Business Taxation are published on our website. Donations from business, as from other sources, have no influence on what we write. My research is mostly published in academic journals after a thorough and often painful review by anonymous and independent academic referees. I believe others who produce work on business taxation funded by pressure groups and others should submit their work to the same level of scrutiny.

Michael Devereux, Director, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation

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