Tax avoidance by international and transnational corporations

As I work with many students from UK universities, I find that new topics for assignments and essays are given by different universities at the Masters level especially for business management. From the traditional view point of an organisation, many universities are moving on to ethical elements of doing business. One of the recent issues that have captured headlines is tax avoidance by International a transnational corporations. Tax avoidance has become a common norm for international transnational organisations and one prime example is Vodafone in the United Kingdom. Vodafone is a transnational company operating in different countries and in order to avoid tax or as per their statement as a measure of tax planning, have their operating offices in the country and merely for tax purposes, have their registered office in tax haven.

Hence the question is whether international and transnational corporations are avoiding paying the required amounts of tax governments and countries in which they operate. By registering in a tax haven, international and transnational corporations are avoiding paying the required amounts of tax that other normal companies would have paid by having their registered offices in the same country. There is a BBC News article available in the following website link.

The literature on the subject and the academic articles along with the ethical arguments of organisational tax avoidance are limited. Most of the concepts are revolving around maximisation of profit for the benefit of the shareholders which is overriding concern. The ethical dimension is not specifically looking by these organisations and mostly the financial aspects of the business come into picture in most of the practitioner literature. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethical aspects had to be considered when analysing the issue of tax avoidance by international transnational corporations. It is pertinent that universities identify such issues which are really concerned with corporate strategy; nevertheless having implication on the ethical way of doing business.

The theoretical perspectives on corporate strategy and financial management would consider that tax planning is a necessary requirement for maximisation of profit for the benefit of the shareholders. However the Masters in international business and Masters in business Administration courses now consider ethical and corporate social responsible practices of business organisations into their curriculum. Although universities provide the essays and assignments based on appropriate corporate strategy and financial management, they must also try to embed in the students Ethical and corporate social responsible principles. Hence it is pertinent that the topic of tax avoidance by international and transnational corporations is taken as an assignment for the students to understand the implications of ethics, corporate social responsibility, tax avoidance and so on.


Any student requiring help in assignments or dissertations on the topic of tax avoidance can contact me at  You can also have a look at the way I work with the students on my home page –