Interview with Associate Professor Sunita Jogarajan (by Joshua Quinn-Watson, Research Assistant, ALC)
Associate Professor Sunita Jogarajan has been involved in research in Asia for the length of her academic career.
A specialist in taxation law, her initial research interest was the tax regimes of developing countries, which led to a focus on the ASEAN grouping. She has written widely on the integration of tax regimes in ASEAN member countries. She has also undertaken specific research in India on international tax planning, which has been aided by contact with Indian tax officials through the Australia India Institute. Her Asian research has involved some collaboration with Asian academics, including Associate Professor Stephen Phua at the National University of Singapore.
Associate Professor Jogarajan continues to run advisory sessions for tax administrators from Asian countries, including India and China. One of the key challenges in this work is being conscious of the different 'playing space' in which tax officials in Asian countries operate. For instance, in comparison with Australia, where we have some half dozen people in our tax treaties division in the Treasury Department, she says, some Asian countries may have only a single person responsible for tax treaties. She sees her advisory work as a way to collaborate with Asian officials to formulate creative 'ideas and systems' that address a lack of physical, rather than technical capacity. She says that her advisory work is assisted by the respect held for Australian academics and this University in particular in the region.
She now combines her advisory work with research on the history of the tax treaty system, particularly the work of the League of Nations.