Seminar – The Big Four and corporate tax governance: From global dis-harmony to national regulatory incrementalism

tax evasion

CDWI and QUT Centre for Justice are co-hosting The Big Four and corporate tax governance: From global dis-harmony to national regulatory incrementalism with guest speakers Ainsley Elbra, University of Sydney and centre member, Kerrie Sadiq, QUT.


The Big Four professional services firms – PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY – sit at the nexus of corporate tax avoidance. On the one hand, they promote, sanction, and regularise the behaviour and practices of multinational corporations in regards to tax planning. Yet, they also advise government and multilateral organisations on how to best address this policy challenge. In this sense, the Big Four must be viewed as political actors, with an agenda focused on retaining their place as tax advisors to corporations and government. This talk will examine this large, and growing, sector of the Big Four’s business model, which places them at the centre of both causing and addressing the challenge of MNC tax avoidance. Drawing on research which shows the advice provided by the Big Four is not purely technical, but is intended to achieve a dis-harmonised global corporate tax system, this talk will interrogate claims by the Big Four that they support global regulation based on multilateral agreements. In doing so, we will ask why the Big Four are given a seat at the policy making table and what governments and multilateral organisations should be considering when seeking advice from vested interests, such as the Big Four.

When: 10-11am, 16th November
  D Block, D-108 with morning tea from 11am in D-109.
Registration: This event has already taken place

Ainsley Elbra is a researcher in the field of international political economy and a senior lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney. Her work focuses on globalisation, private governance and business-state relations. She has published on the power of multinational corporations, with a particular focus on mining firms and their engagement with host states, corporate tax avoidance, and the development of private governance regimes.

Kerrie Sadiq is a professor at the Faculty of Business and Law, Queensland University of Technology. She is a chartered tax adviser as designated by the Taxation Institute of Australia, a CPA, and a CA. Kerrie’s primary areas of research are in international tax, tax expenditures, and capital gains tax. She is the co-editor of Australian Tax Review, an internationally recognized leading academic tax journal. She is an author of contributions to leading Australian and international journals and books, and is an author and co-author of leading taxation textbooks. Kerrie is currently undertaking four-year research focused Future Fellowship awarded by the Australian Research Council

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