Using the media's recent coverage of Apple's tax avoidance strategies as a case study, Professor Norman will discuss how we ought to understand and rationalize corporate social responsibility and self-regulation norms emerging around the taxation of multinationals, and whether these rationalizations are, or should be, different than the rationalization of corporate tax regulation. He will draw upon his previous work on business ethics, including "Business Ethics as Self-Regulation: Why principles that ground regulations should be used to ground beyond-compliance norms as well," and he points us to a 2012 NY Times article by Louise Story, As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price.
The topic is obviously timely. If you've been watching the news, you know that it has recently been revealed that Apple and governments get along very, very well when it comes to taxes. In Europe, Apple's side deals with Ireland have come under scrutiny as a possible form of state aid, against EU law; in the United States, Apple has faced lawmakers' bark but no bite. Here is some recent media coverage, most from the Guardian:
- How Apple's Cork HQ became the centre of a bitter global war over corporate tax avoidance
- Ireland defends tax dealings with Apple: Dublin denies EU commission claims that it helped iPhone maker obtain billions of euros in illegal state aid
- Tough talk on tax means nothing if every country does different things: Obama and Osborne have been quick to promise an end to avoidance. But this is best achieved through collective action
- Apple Tax Probe Details Set to Be Revealed by EU Watchdog (Bloomberg)
The presentation will take place in the Seminar Room of the Institute for Health and Social Policy, Charles Meredith House, 1130 Pine Ave., Montreal, beginning at 2:35 pm.
As always, the colloquium is open to all: students, faculty and the general public are welcome.