ActionAid Tax Justice Adviser, Anders Dahlbeck, commenting on the Panama Papers leak, said:
"The latest in a string of tax revelations, this massive use of tax havens yet again demonstrates that the international tax system is broken. Those with the means to do so are able to break the rules on a massive scale, benefiting at the expense of ordinary citizens.
“And it's not just individuals who benefit from the global network of tax havens. Big companies can use some of the same offshore methods to reduce their tax bills in the UK, and in some of the poorest countries in the world. The poorest people are hit hardest by corporate tax avoidance: the IMF estimates that developing countries lose out on US$200 billion a year in avoided corporate tax. Women and girls living in poverty pay the price as key public services like schools and hospitals are starved of funding.
“The UK government should lead on reforming the global tax system to tackle tax avoidance around the world. The Chancellor’s support for public country-by-country reporting is a good start, but we need a concrete plan as to how this will be implemented to ensure multinational companies start paying their fair share.”
Notes to editors
- IMF research estimates that developing countries may lose $200 billion a year to corporate tax avoidance - see p21, Fig 3 https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2015/wp15118.pdf
- ActionAid / Oxfam poll shows that only 9% of UK adults agree that the current law is doing a good job of ensuring that large international companies pay the tax they are due around the world - http://www.actionaid.org.uk/latest-news/huge-majority-of-public-back-new-laws-to-clamp-down-on-tax-havens-actionaid-oxfam-poll
- ActionAid, Christian Aid and Oxfam have published a paper setting out how companies can work towards a responsible tax policy - http://www.actionaid.org.uk/getting-to-good-towards-responsible-corporate-tax-behaviour