Church agency proposes New Year resolution on tax dodging

By staff writers
January 1, 2015

A leading Christian NGO is urging governments to resolve to collect the taxes needed to tackle poverty and create a better world in 2015.

the 'New Year resolution' proposal comes from Christian Aid, the UK-based churches' global development and advocacy agency.

“Tax pays for the services we all need, like hospitals, schools, roads and policing,” said Toby Quantrill, the charity’s Principal Adviser on Economic Justice.

“Tax revenues can make the difference between dignity and destitution and, especially in developing countries, between life and death. A well-designed, effective, tax system can help to close the widening gap between rich and poor.

“But all over the world, governments are struggling to collect enough tax to fund decent public services, while multinational companies dodge billions of pounds in tax.

“So we’re urging governments to make a New Year’s resolution for 2015 and beyond, to take action to ensure companies are paying their fair share of tax in all the countries where they operate. It is time to rebalance the rules in favour of people everywhere.”

In order to collect more tax from multinationals, Governments should do the following three things to sweep away the financial secrecy that sustains tax dodging, says Christian Aid:

• Require multinationals to publicly reveal separate economic and financial details (such as numbers of employees, profits made and taxes paid) for every country in which they operate, making tax dodging easier to spot.

• Require all companies to reveal who really owns and controls them and put the information in national, public registers. This would help track down criminals behind tax evasion, money laundering, corruption, terrorist financing and other problems.

• Include developing countries as full participants in the OECD-run ‘BEPS’ (Base Erosion and Profit Sharing) project to catch up with multinational tax dodgers. In addition, develop new processes which include poor countries on an equal basis from the start, to tackle the problems of greatest concern to poor countries.

“At the moment it seems that multinationals have more influence over the global tax system than developing countries, which is pretty terrifying,” said Mr Quantrill.


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