Can we prevent technological development from blowing up social rights? A tax law perspective

The aim of this proposal is to identify the problems deriving from the use of digital platforms and find out whether tax law might give a solution to such problems. If, on the one hand, technological innovation has incontrovertibly improved our lives, on the other hand it has affected the weakest part of the population and exposed it to social exploitation, since the level of employment in certain productions has plummeted (from the manufactory industry to the booksellers). In addition, the use of digital platforms by MNEs has played a pivotal role in avoiding the application of tax provisions, which has resulted in a significant loss in terms of revenue for the National Budgets and has shrunk the Welfare State. In this respect, what can tax law do? Does international tax law have a social aim (like domestic tax law: e.g. the Italian Constitution explicitly mentions the social purpose of direct taxes)? The paper will explore the initiatives at OECD and EU level aimed at tackling phenomena of profit shifting through digital means and verify if they are capable of protecting the Welfare State and social rights and contribute to reduce the current intolerable level of economic injustice.