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A Forgotten Issue: Fiscal Responsibility in the CSR Debate

The Critical State of Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe

ISBN: 978-1-78756-150-2, eISBN: 978-1-78756-149-6

Publication date: 19 July 2018



This chapter intends to explore the emerging concept of fiscal responsibility (FR), a particularly relevant issue in Europe. There is an ongoing debate about what are companies responsible for, the reasons and the limits for this responsibility. And while the social awareness for this issue increases it is not clear whether corporate tax dealings can be articulated into the wider realm of corporate social responsibility (CSR).


The chapter begins with a brief review of today’s situation in terms of corporate taxation. The changing environment of corporate taxes (from local to global) is described. Production processes are fragmented all over the world, and in the European Union, across national borders of their member States. This complexity is compounded by the increasing dematerialisation of business processes, the higher importance of intangibles and the use of subsidiaries in low-taxed jurisdictions.


The elusive concept of FR is analysed, along with a discussion on the nature of the firm and the limits of tax regulation, particularly the boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate tax avoidance.


Having seen how FR is now emerging, the last part of the chapter analyses the common understandings of CSR today, along with two specific challenges for FR in the realm of CSR. Finally, there is a tentative proposal on how FR may articulate with different theories of CSR.



Zicari, A.P. and Renouard, C. (2018), "A Forgotten Issue: Fiscal Responsibility in the CSR Debate", The Critical State of Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe (Critical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability, Vol. 12), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 243-259.



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