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This article outlines seven tax-avoidance techniques used by multinational corporations (MNCs) and the government policies that enable them, followed by a discussion of ethics and corporate responsibility. The tax-avoidance phenomenon, amounting to hundreds of billions each year, affects global operations, supply chains, and location decisions—placing this issue at the heart of global strategy. There is no world government or supranational tax authority. A world fragmented into more than 190 nations (each seeking local optimization of revenues) is in tension with MNCs that look on the entire world as their blank canvas (global optimization) and fall prey to the temptation of using the seven tax-avoidance techniques outlined here.

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