The recent tax scandals had revealed that HSBC bank offered a friendly advice to its private clients on how to succeed in their tax evasion attempts. This effectively shows that our societies are divided between those who have higher share of wealth (and thus greater opportunities to pursue their interests) and the remaining parts of society with a less fair share of resources and limited ways to influence the politics.
Thus, we face a question of moral and social responsibility. As individuals, we live in a sophisticated and participatory society, which is legally required to offer everyone an equal chance to realize their potential, partly dependent on our individual tax contribution, which allows us as members of society to help those around us who suffer and require greater support. Yet, once somebody is not paying as much as he/she is required, the system becomes untenable, ineffective and unfair for everyone, especially the one who needs greater assistance and support. That is why a recent #MakeTaxFair campaign, organized by a coalition of charities, both in Britain and across the world, is undoubtedly a step in a right direction in few ways.
Politically, while all major parties promised to tackle tax evasion in Britain, clearly there is a lack of legislative measures to tackle the problem. As the history of British political system shows, particularly since the end of the Cold War, any major scandals linked to effectiveness and suitability of the political regime can often be absorbed by political system without any radical transformation to address the area of concern.
In this light, the current Make Tax Fair campaign represents a cohesive, coordinated and collective community of British society to utilize the wide spread public anger about tax evasion by corporations in such a way that brings about a long-term change in British tax system. Thus, the demand to introduce a special Tax Dodging Act from any political party, which comes to power at the General Election within 100 days of any new government, represents a democratic demand, formulated in form of concrete policy decision.
Furthermore, a tax system world-wide might also change as a consequence of the introduction of Tax Dodging Bill in the UK. Since Britain is an important member of different international organizations, such as G8, G20, EU and a UN Security Council role, it can use its positive example to pressurize the other states into more concrete actions on tax dodging. The change in politically sensitive areas often starts with setting a right precedent for others to follows, which enable the interested actor to add stronger credibility to its views.
On the geopolitical level, tackling a tax evasion is an absolute must for us as the responsible individuals. Despite the growing interconnectedness of the world, the benefits of the globalization are distributed unevenly at the global scale, which allows the global north to reap off the benefits from the global south, with no consideration of the further consequences. This means that at the moment, for every $10 given in international aid to the developing world, $15 slip away because of the tax evasion by major corporations.
This does not have to be this way: instead, by joining our efforts and tackling tax evasion at local and global level, we as individuals by participating in grass roots activities such as #MakeTaxFair campaign can pave ways for fairer, more egalitarian and inclusive societies, which would balance the interests of all societal sections and present equal opportunity for all on a non-discriminatory basis.