Automatic exchange of information prevents corporations and individuals from abusing bank accounts they hold abroad to hide the true value of their wealth and pay less tax than they should at home.
There is undoubtedly a role for foreign aid, but it cannot match the revenue-raising, democracy-strengthening potential of tax.
Identifying and registering beneficial owners is vital to making sure the wealthiest are held to the same level of transparency and accountability as everybody else.
Whereas the word "flight" in "capital flight" puts the spotlight on the (poorer) countries that are victims of the phenomenon, suggesting that the onus is on them to address the problems, “illicit financial flows” does a better job of clarifying that this is a two-way street.
You cannot have corruption without financial secrecy and the offshore system of tax havens at the centre of it all.
Country by country reporting exposes multinational corporations that are shifting profit into tax havens so that they can pay less tax than they should.
Decades after the end of colonial rule, proceeds of global tax abuse almost always flow in the direction of the old empires, continuing the enriching of the global north by the global south.
Financial secrecy keeps tax abuse feasible, drug cartels bankable and human trafficking profitable.
Intermediaries like accountants and bankers are not just passive facilitators of global tax abuse. They're often active, and sometimes aggressive purveyors.
The finance curse identifies a paradox at the heart of financial sectors: “too much finance” can make a country poorer.
A global asset register is a proposal to create a comprehensive international registry of all wealth and assets, and their real beneficial owners, in order to tackle global tax abuse and redress inequalities.
Collection of tax, in a fair way, provides the backbone for a safe, stable and healthy society.
"Tax avoidance” is generally assumed to refer to legal means of underpaying tax, while "tax evasion" refers to illegal means. In the real world, however, this legal-illegal distinction often falls apart.
The idea that countries can "compete" like companies in a market is a deeply incorrect analogy that has been used to sugar-coat harmful tax cuts and deregulations, and to spur countries into a race to the bottom.
The term tax haven itself is troublesome because these places offer facilities that go far beyond not paying tax.
The UK, together with its network of Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, is by far the world's greatest enabler of global tax abuse.
By requiring multinational corporations to pay tax where they employ staff and do real work, instead of in tax havens where they hide profits, unitary tax makes sure every person involved in the process of creating wealth is recognised.
Establishing a UN tax convention would make sure equitable international tax rules are established through a genuinely representative process and made legally binding.