John Christensen ■ Tax avoidance by corporations is out of control; the UN must step in


Earlier this summer we blogged about how the powerful OECD bullied their way at the Addis Ababa financing for development summit to block developing country requests for a proper inter-governmental body to establish the groundrules for international tax cooperation.  Now, writing in The Guardian and comment on how the rich and powerful nations raged against the attempt by poorer countries to have some say in this crucial matter:

“When the developing countries proposed, at the last major financing for development conference earlier this year, to strengthen the tax cooperation work at the United Nations by transforming its technical committee on this issue into an intergovernmental organ, the developed nations raged in opposition, leaving the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an organization made up essentially of developed countries, as the dominant agent of international tax cooperation.”

For over a decade, TJN has argued that the OECD is not the appropriate body to set the rules for tax cooperation.  For half a century it has failed to create a framework that helps poorer countries to tackle tax evasion and avoidance.  Time and time again its initiatives, for example on information exchange processes, have offered lowest common denominator solutions.  Their latest project, the BEPS programme, has merely tried to patch up the arm’s length method, which has been proven time and again to not work.  With the BEPS programme coming to an end (and we will be reporting more on this next week) the time has come to end the OECD’s presumptious role as rule-maker, and to move to a global body which offers all nations equal representation at the decision-making table.

Read the full Guardian article here.

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