Corporate tax dodging is unfair: it keeps people trapped in poverty.
We all pay our taxes, which our governments take and invest in local services and infrastructure. But companies like Amazon, Google and Starbucks can get away without paying what they owe.
Organisations such as the UN and the IMF have estimated that developing countries lose between $100billion and $300billion every year to tax dodging. These funds could be used to provide clean water, healthcare, education and many other essentials that we take for granted. And in developing countries, these services can make the difference between life and death.
The unbelievable 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 international financial system is an added bonus for tax dodgers.
Where has all the money gone?
Watch this short film to find out how and why tax dodging has become such a major obstacle to fighting poverty:
What we're aiming for
Jesus calls us to be light in dark places, exposing what the darkness hides – which is what many of our partners are doing all over the world. Our challenge is to stand alongside them and lift the veil of secrecy in the international tax system.
To achieve true tax justice, we need to break down many barriers. Through our campaigning, we aim to:
- remove the loopholes that allow tax dodging
- create a transparent global financial system
- lift the veil of secrecy of the international tax system.
Take part in our campaign
We don’t have any campaign actions on tax justice right now but people like you have ensured this is higher on the political agenda than ever before. We’ll be in touch with campaigners again as and when key opportunities arise. If you would like to stay in touch with our campaigning on tax and other issues, please sign up here.
Latest campaign wins
With your help, we’ve raised the profile of tax dodging and secured some key changes in the law. In 2016, as part of our Sourced campaign, Christian Aid campaigners persuaded 15 councils in England and Northern Ireland (who together spend billions of pounds!) to put tax justice at the heart of their procurement policies.
This sent a clear signal to companies that councils and local people will not tolerate tax dodging.
In Northern Ireland, this campaign snowballed after Belfast City Council, and later the Northern Ireland Assembly, took on the campaign pledge.
Our tax campaign achievements
The huge cost of tax dodging in poor countries is revealed by our Pinstripe Pirates. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) now estimates that developing countries lose up to $300bn a year – more than three times the global aid budget – as a result of tax dodging.
Our Tax Superhero Awards highlight the damage caused by tax dodging to companies at the annual tax awards in London.
We direct our tax campaign at four companies in the FTSE 100 , calling on them to lead the way in tax transparency. Stunts around the country – like this one outside the Holiday Inn in London – open doors and discussions in company headquarters to help us push positive tax policy at a higher level.
Savior Mwamba from Zambia joins us on the Tax Justice Bus Tour to explain to church groups and politicians around the UK how tax dodging is affecting developing countries. The bus tours for 53 days, attracting media coverage and gaining support from MPs, with some even starting their own tax campaigns.
Tax becomes a prominent feature of the ‘IF’ campaign — with tax dodging shown to be a major driver of hunger and poverty in developing countries. Here, campaigners create the Isle of Shady on London’s Southbank, drawing attention to the billions of dollars that Africa loses to tax dodging each year.
As part of our Phantom Firms campaign, more than 20,000 people write to then Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable, persuading him to take action on the secrecy of UK company ownership. Here, our Russian doll businessmen appear outside the Liberal Democrat Party Conference in Glasgow to highlight how companies can hide their identity within shell companies.
Campaigners call on the Treasury and Shadow Chancellor to implement a Tax Dodging Bill after the UK General Election. While no such bill is passed, a number of its elements – such as the so-called ‘Google tax’ – are put forward independently by the UK government. These features show just how mainstream the issue of tax dodging has become in a very short time.