Inter-nation Equity Revisited

31 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2021 Last revised: 6 Dec 2021

See all articles by Ivan Ozai

Ivan Ozai

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

Date Written: December 21, 2020


States are on the verge of a new form of global competition. Some have taken unilateral measures to tax multinational profits that they would typically not be able to tax, at least not according to conventional international tax concepts and rules. Others have threatened to retaliate with economic countermeasures to protect their tax base and corporate residents. The OECD's recent attempt to build consensus for a global tax compact has so far proven unsuccessful due to broad disagreement about how taxing rights should be equitably distributed between countries.

As policymakers and tax scholars increasingly call into question long-standing theories of international taxation, the concept of inter-nation equity plays a pivotal role as a guiding principle in determining how to divide the international tax base among states. Inter-nation equity is one of the most ubiquitous concepts in international tax policy discussions and yet one of the most understudied in tax scholarship.

This Article introduces a comprehensive normative analysis of inter-nation equity by discussing how the concept should reconcile the two primary goals of international allocation of taxing rights: on the one hand, the concern of states to preserve their tax sovereignty and, on the other hand, the need to promote some degree of redistribution to address the challenges of global poverty and inequality. This Article further explains how a similar notion of inter-nation equity has developed in other areas of international law and discusses some practical implications for tax policy design.

Keywords: Inter-nation Equity, Global Justice, Musgraves, Entitlement, Differentiation, Taxing Rights

JEL Classification: K33, K34, F63

Suggested Citation

Ozai, Ivan, Inter-nation Equity Revisited (December 21, 2020). 12:1 Columbia Journal of Tax Law (2020), pp. 58-88, Available at SSRN:

Ivan Ozai (Contact Author)

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3


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