Hastings Law Journal


Steven A. Dean


Tax flight (the evasion of income taxes through the use of offshore tax havens) poses a $5o billion-a-year problem for the United States. Through tax flight treaties, the United States could make payments to tax havens that would give those countries both the resources and the incentive they need to develop the administrative capacity necessary to supply the U.S. with income tax information. Such treaties likely would reduce the United States' collective well-being, particularly if measured in simple GDP terms. Therefore, a simplistic "philosopher king" model of international tax law, which assumes that governments only engage in cross-border tax cooperation to boost their respective GDPs, would suggest that tax flight treaties could not be effective. This Article argues that a more sophisticated model of inter-governmental behavior (Oona Hathaway's "integrated theory") supports a more optimistic conclusion regarding the potential of tax flight treaties.

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