You’ve heard about tax dodging companies like Starbucks1 and Amazon2 in the UK. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Every year, unfair international tax rules let companies dodge billions of pounds of tax in developing countries – tax that could pay for essential services like schools and hospitals.
Ending tax dodging
Up till 2017, together with the countries most affected, we were campaigning to end tax dodging so that poorer countries can stop losing out on these vital funds. With fairer tax rules, the citizens of these countries could finally have decent access to healthcare and education that is everyone’s right.
Together with campaigners in the Global South, we had some massive campaign wins, that will change the lives of millions of people across the global south, from making UK supermarkets give farmers a fair deal to helping Zambia tackle tax dodging.
- 1. Tom Bergint. (2012). Special Report - How Starbucks avoids UK taxes. Available: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/10/15/uk-britain-starbucks-tax-idUKBRE89E0EW20121015. Last accessed 14th Dec 2015. ↩
- 2. Ian Griffiths. (2012). Amazon: £7bn sales, no UK corporation tax. Available: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/04/amazon-british-operation-corporation-tax. Last accessed 14th Dec 2015. ↩
Caroline paid more tax than Zambia Sugar
Caroline owns a sweet stall in Nakambala Market, Zambia. She works hard and pays her taxes, but still struggles to make ends meet.
“Our profits are never enough to supply us with good food. So we usually eat porridge and we feel bad about this because the children are always crying due to lack of food.”
While Caroline pays her taxes, the same can’t be said of her neighbouring business. That’s Zambia Sugar, owned by UK company Associated British Foods. They don't just pay a lower proportion of their income in tax than Caroline - they pay less tax than her in total.
“We feel so bad because The Zambia Sugar Company does not pay tax, and for sure we are suffering. It would be better if they were paying a bigger share than us.”
The impact of tax dodging
Poorer countries lose an estimated $200billion3 to tax dodging every year – more than the international aid sent by all rich countries put together
The company Associated British Foods dodged at least £17 million4 of taxes in Zambia
The tax dodged by Associated British Foods could send an extra 48,000 children5 to school every year
- 3. International Monetary Fund . 2015. IMF Working Paper. (ONLINE) Available at: https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2015/wp15118.pdf. (Accessed 16 October 15). ↩
- 4. ActionAid. (2013). ActionAid exposes tax avoidance by Associated British Food Group in Zambia. Available: https://www.actionaid.org.uk/latest-news/actionaid-exposes-tax-avoidance-by-associated-british-food-group-in-zambia. Last accessed 14th Dec 2015. ↩
- 5. ActionAid. (2013). ActionAid exposes tax avoidance by Associated British Food Group in Zambia. Available: https://www.actionaid.org.uk/latest-news/actionaid-exposes-tax-avoidance-by-associated-british-food-group-in-zambia. Last accessed 14th Dec 2015. ↩