'TNC Piracy'


This provocatively titled page address the problem of TNC Tax avoidance and capital flight. It also covers the issue of tax avoidance schemes by wealthy individuals. The lesson begins with two graphics on tax avoidance as well an BBC news report addressing the reasons for tax avoidance and its impact. Students then complete a mapping activity on tax losses using the data within a Daily Mail news report. Students then go on to look at the spatial pattern of tax avoidance at the global scale by analyzing a shocking infographic map on showing the vast scale of capital flight from developing countries. The lesson briefly develops the problem of wealthy individuals and tax avoidance from celebrities, featuring a comical analysis from David Mitchell.

Enquiry Question

How do TNCs and wealthy individuals avoid taxation to the loss of sovereign nations?

Lesson Time: 1 Hour

Lesson Objectives:

  • To understand how TNCs repatriate wealth away from nation states?
  • To understand the spatial flows of tax avoidance and capital flight by wealthy individuals

Teacher Notes:

Starter - Corporate Tax Avoidance in the UK - Students should study the two graphs and describe the scale of tax avoidance in the UK

1. BBC Video on Tax Avoidance - Students can watch the BBC news item explaining tax avoidance in the UK. Students answer the question on scale, reasons behind it and impact on the UK

2. Mapping Tax Avoidance - With reference to the Daily Mail site, students can use a mapping technique to map the companies, amounts and ways tax avoidance is achieved in the UK

3. Tax Avoidance by the Wealthy - Students can study the diagram and describe the amounts and regional patterns of the avoidance.

4. Capital Flight from Developing Countries - Students can then study the clickable map of global patterns of capital flight from developing countries. Students should describe the pattern and the discuss the problems this causes for developing country economies

5. Celeberity Tax Avoidance - Students can watch the David Mitchell sketch on explaining celebrity tax avoidance in the UK.

Warning this video contains some inappropriate language

Starter Activity_Corporate Tax Avoidance in the UK_Places, Processes and Power

Study the following two graphs and describe the scale of tax avoidance in the UK

Student Activity_ Tax Avoidance in the UK_Places, Processes, Spatial Interactions and Power

Watch the following video from the BBC on corporation tax avoidance in the UK. Make notes on

  1. The amount of tax avoided
  2. The reasons for it
  3. Its impact on the UK

To access the remainder of the activities for this lesson click here

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