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Corporate Tax Morality: Is it the Spirit or the Letter of the Law? Subscribe to Alerts


While it's legal to minimize taxes, some corporations push the limits of the law and pay average tax rates much lower than might seem fair. Do firms have a moral obligation to obey the spirit of the law in addition to the letter of the law? Are they bound by Delaware law that requires them to work in the interests of their owners and shareholders? Or should the tax law be modified to make it clearer that the spirit of the law is relevant and often determinative?

Larry Zicklin (BBA, '57) discusses these questions with Prof. Michael Meisler, Lecturer in the Stan Ross Department of Accountancy, and Prof. Daniel I. Halperin (BBA, '57), Stanley S. Surrey Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School. With an introduction by Dean Fenwick Huss and a Q&A session moderated by Associate Dean Gwen Webb