Nick Shaxson ■ Quote of the day – Google’s tax avoidance


GoogleFrom Domini Social Investments LLC, a corporate pioneer in the area of tax and social responsibility, which recently submitted a shareholder resolution to Google merely to adopt a set of principles on paying tax. The quote goes:

“Investors should be asking Google and other multinationals to adopt ethical principles to guide their tax strategies, considering their impact on society and brand value. 

Just as corporations should be expected to follow consistent standards globally regarding bribery, child labor, greenhouse gas emissions and non-discrimination, they should adopt principles to help navigate the complexity of local and national tax systems. 

We believe this is what fiduciary duty demands.”

Our emphasis added, to highlight our quote of the day.

What, indeed, could be even controversial about that?

In a recent survey by Ernst & Young, almost 90 percent (90 percent!) of global corporations said they were worried media coverage of their tax affairs, up from 60 percent in 2011. One would have thought that a set of tax principles would be a good idea.

See coverage in The Guardian here.

The proposal has just gone to vote at Google. Let’s see what happens.

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