Evelyse Carvalho Ribas
What motivated me to undertake PhD study?
This research programme will help me not only to bring my practical contribution to the area of tax law, but also to pursue an academic career. If possible, after enrolment and during the research programme, I hope to be able to participate in teaching activities and other types of knowledge dissemination at University of Leeds in order to familiarise myself with the European areas of learning and teaching. As soon as my thesis is approved, my first intention is to disseminate the findings in publications, study rounds, conferences and seminars. Secondly, I hope to become a faculty member at a leading University. Third, I hope to be actively engaged in other legal research environments within the international research community in the private and public sectors and to achieve an international reputation for research and practical experience in tax law issues.
What makes me passionate about my subject?
My interest in the discipline of commercial and taxation developed primarily from my time as international commercial agent assisting Brazilian mill firms with foreign operations and negotiating customer contracts. Subsequently, as a trainee at the Court of Justice in Brazil, acting on fiscal litigation sub-judge and resolutions on local and federal tax laws and during my Masters at the University of East Anglia, where I concentrated my studies on tax matters and finally as a commercial and tax lawyer. Being a commercial and tax lawyer I am able to provide tax advice to individuals and companies on a wide variety of business decisions and this experience has, in part, shaped the focus of the research questions posed in the dissertation project. I was always aware of seeing only one side of the picture i.e. the one portrayed to me by the taxpayers I dealt with. This gave me a desire to go further and to enhance the understanding and thereby contribute to tax policy formulation and debate on how to effectively encourage international cooperation and coordination in tax law through procedures for a co-existence of divergent tax systems.
The research deals with the impact of tax on fine art. Specifically how the arts sector interacts with the tax system. Thus, although the study analyses - from the taxpayer’s perspective – the role of tax in art collection decisions and – from the government’s perspective – how essential is culture and what are the legitimate objectives of tax arts – this focus brings certain truths about what the broader policy for art contributions should be. Namely, to encourage international cooperation and coordination in tax law through procedures for a co-existence of divergent tax systems.
The background of the research will consider the fact that artists, auction houses, galleries, arts organizations increasingly work across countries, showing and selling artworks across the globe. Also, museum and gallery collections have been digitized and are online accessible.
Pursuing this further, although the tax planning structures represent enormous challenges to governance, social protection and progress – especially in developing countries – the question is how essential is culture? The imposition of the import tax on artworks, in some jurisdictions, is much closer to a collection measure, than an extra-fiscal action. Other jurisdictions set the import rates according to the principle of essence – the more essential it is the product the smaller should be its tax burden. For example, luxury is less essential than food, and therefore has a higher rate. But to see essentiality only in terms of the physiological needs of the human being would be to restrict it to a single prism. It is necessary to analyse the essentiality in the face of the collectivity, and its applicability in social terms.