Nick Shaxson ■ Pulling the plug: how to stop corporate tax dodging in Europe and beyond
From Oxfam, a new report whose headline we’ve copied. As the introduction notes:
“Making tax fair is one of the key solutions if we want to tackle the growing problem of inequality. Data from 40 countries shows the potential of well-designed, redistributive taxation and corresponding investment by governments to reduce income inequality driven by market conditions.
Finland and Austria, for instance, have halved income inequality thanks to progressive and effective taxation accompanied by wise social spending. Unfortunately, at present, almost all countries suffer from increasingly large scale tax dodging schemes used by big multinationals and wealthy individuals. this deprives all governments of much needed resources to finance essential services, but especially affects developing countries.
The European Union has been at the forefront of the fight against tax dodging over the past five years. Since 2011, several tax reforms have been adopted as first steps towards greater tax fairness. relatively good progress has been made to tackle tax evasion of private wealth (including issues such as automatic information exchange in europe, and transparency of beneficial owners in the anti-money laundering legislation).
However, less attention has been given to putting in place the right legislative measures to tackle corporate tax avoidance, including knowing where companies pay taxes, harmonising tax bases in europe and supporting ambitious reforms at an international level. recent corporate tax dodging scandals have unequivocally reminded us that despite some progress, plenty remains to be done if we truly want ‘banking secrecy to be over’, ‘the end of tax havens’ and a definitive end to tax evasion and avoidance.”