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Thursday, January 24, 2013

G-8 to Lead Global Action Against Tax Avoidance

Washington Post;  UK’s Cameron Says Tax Avoidance on Agenda at G-8, Warns Companies Must Pay Their ‘Fair Share’:

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday he will use his country’s year-long presidency of the G-8 to target tax-dodging tactics by businesses.

Public anger has been mounting in Britain after lawmakers accused major multinational companies including Starbucks, Google and Amazon of “immorally” avoiding paying tax.

Companies operating in Europe can base themselves in any of the 27 European Union nations, allowing them to take advantage of a particular country’s low tax rates. Google has picked Ireland and Bermuda, Starbucks is based in The Netherlands and Amazon in Luxembourg.

Cameron said he plans to “drive a more serious debate” on tax evasion and avoidance at this year’s meetings of G-8, the group of eight leading industrial countries, acknowledging that there is a difference between the two since tax evasion is illegal.

“But there are some forms of avoidance have become so aggressive that I think it is right to say these raise ethical issues, and it’s time to call for more responsibility and for governments to act accordingly,” he told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “This is an issue whose time has come.”

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