It’s time to stop big companies dodging tax
Corporate tax dodging is unfair: it keeps developing countries trapped in poverty.
We all pay our tax. But companies like Amazon, Google and Starbucks can get away without paying what they owe.
And the incredible thing is that big corporations often do this legally, by taking advantage of tax rules that are currently rigged in their favour. The secrecy in the financial system is an added bonus for tax dodgers.
This is costing developing countries an estimated $100 billion every year in lost revenues. These funds could be used to tackle poverty, providing essential services and infrastructure like healthcare.
We can change this
Politicians can change the UK’s tax rules to ensure UK companies pay their fair share of tax - both in the UK and wherever else they operate - which includes some of the world's poorest countries.
In 2015 the UK Government adopted Public Registers of Beneficial Ownership revealing who owns which companies and for whose benefit. This information will make it easier for tax authorities in developing countries to find out who is dodging tax and hold them to account. But we need to go a lot further.
Getting our house in order
The British Overseas Territories are being used excessively by multi-national corporations operating in developing counties like Sierra Leone. The revenue losses are being borne by the poorest communities in the world. It’s now essential that the seven British Overseas Territories with financial centres follow the UK’s example and adopt Public Registers of Beneficial Ownership too.