The inherent international tax regime and its constraints on Australia's sovereignty

Sadiq, Kerrie (2012) The inherent international tax regime and its constraints on Australia's sovereignty. University of Queensland Law Journal, 31(1), pp. 131-146.

View at publisher


Neither an international tax, nor an international taxing body exists. Rather, there are domestic taxing rules adopted by jurisdictions which, coupled with double tax treaties, apply to cross-border transactions and international taxation issues. International bodies such as the OECD and UN, which provide guidance on tax issues, often steer and supplement these domestic adoptions but have no binding international taxing powers. These pragmatic realities, together with the specific use of the word ‘regime’ within the tax community, lead many to argue that an international tax regime does not exist. However, an international tax regime should be defined no differently to any other area of international law and when we step outside the confines of tax law to consider the definition of a ‘regime’ within international relations it is possible to demonstrate that such a regime is very real. The first part of this article, by defining an international tax regime in a broader and more traditional context, also outlining both the tax policy and principles which frame that regime, reveals its existence. Once it is accepted that an international tax regime exists, it is possible to consider its adoption by jurisdictions and subsequent constraints it places on them. Using the proposed changes to transfer pricing laws as the impetus for assessing Australia’s adoption of the international tax regime, the constraints on sovereignty are assessed through a taxonomy of the level adoption. This reveals the subsequent constraints which flow from the broad acceptance of an international tax regime through to the specific adoption of technical detail. By undertaking this analysis, the second part of this article demonstrates that Australia has inherently adopted an international tax regime, with a move towards explicit adoption and a clear embedding of its principles within the domestic tax legislation.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

81 since deposited on 13 Nov 2012
12 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 54755
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: International Tax Regime, Australia's Sovereignty
ISSN: 0083-4041
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 University of Queensland Press
Deposited On: 13 Nov 2012 05:58
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2013 03:37

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page