February 4, 2013 10:49 pm

Look outside G8 for ideas on reform

From Mr Martin Hearson.

Sir, John Gapper's perceptive analysis of the political challenges facing the global tax regime ends with a binary choice: the “flawed” and “arbitrary” current regime, or its wholesale replacement with the “much hailed” but hard to achieve alternative of unitary taxation (“Politicians should stop posturing on corporate tax”, January 31).

Tell that to tax policy makers in emerging markets.

China, India, Brazil and Argentina have each developed their own, customised solutions to the problems inherent in the OECD’s international tax rules. Some of these were outlined in a “practical manual” published recently by the tax co-operation committee of the UN. The Chinese contribution even hints that in some cases a “global formulary approach should be a realistic and appropriate option”.

It is perhaps ironic that the UK government has chosen to spearhead efforts for reform through the G8, when some of the most interesting developments are taking place outside that grouping.

Martin Hearson, London SE5, UK

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