Updated with additional information about Correa’s administration and exposés in the Panama Papers scandal; scroll down.
Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa has published a significant statement about international tax governance, and specifically the prospect of creating a global tax organisation. This is particularly important, given that Ecuador has just assumed the presidency of the G77 group of developing countries.
“A rapidly growing global web of tax havens is one of the key drivers of this inequality . . .
No one country can tackle this complex, secretive global financial conspiracy alone. Coordinated and comprehensive global action is needed. Current moves towards greater transparency about the initial owners of money held in shell companies can be part of the solution, but modest efforts at achieving greater transparency are not enough. We need to scrap tax havens altogether.
From the Greens / Europe Free Alliance in the European Parliament, a new initiative called EU Leaks:
EUleaks is a European platform where you can submit information in a highly secure and anonymous way.
Transparency and accountability are essential for democratic governance. The EUleaks project provides a platform for increasing transparency by providing a new tool for information in the public interest to be made available. EUleaks offers a venue for the realisation of freedom of expression as a fundamental right.
This comes in the context of a story which is summarised in a Guardian headline: Panama Papers: European parliament opens inquiry. (That is a fascinating story in its own right.)
More on EU Leaks from the website of Sven Giegold, who is a founder of the EU Leaks project (and a founder of TJN too, as it happens):
A new report by its own watchdog provides damning criticism of the UK government’s approach to tax as a development issue. At best, the government has ignored both international expertise and the views of the lower-income countries it claims to be helping. At worst, UK policy can be seen as pushing lower-income countries into supporting international tax rules that exacerbate poverty and inequality – and from which the UK government has itself has sought to benefit.
Such is the evidence presented that the government opens itself up to the possibility of a legal challenge over its failure to use aid for development aims, as required by legislation.
The Independent Commission for Aid Impact has released a report on the effectiveness of the UK government’s Department for International Development’s (DFID) efforts to tackle tax avoidance and tax evasion.
In our September 2016 September 2016 podcast:
Looted funds: Nigeria Labour Congress threatens protest in Switzerland Today
“I think we must have a national day to demand for tax justice”
Legislators introduce bill to shed more light on US multinationals Financial Transparency Coalition
See also: U.S. Bill to require country-by-country reporting Tax Research UK
How Companies Like Apple Dodge Taxes and Their Own Investors The New York Times
See also: New Report: Investors at Risk by Lack of Corporate Tax Disclosures FACT Coalition
Multinational expenses: it’s all show Michael West
BHP Billiton faces Australian tax bill of more than $1 billion The Australian Business Review
Mexico tax authority to open probe after ‘Bahamas Leaks’ The Express Tribune
Corporate Tax Chartbook: How Corporations Rig the Rules to Dodge the Taxes They Owe Americans for Tax Fairness
Global response needed to tackle ‘offshore’ culture The Irish Times
” ‘Secrecy jurisdictions’ are a magnet for people and firms that want to hide what they are up to for whatever reason”
Art and Law: What You Need to Know about Guy Wildenstein’s Tax Evasion Trial artnet
Scandal dubbed ‘Dallas on the Seine’, art-dealing family alleged to have hidden hundreds of millions of euros from French authorities
Switzerland grants over EUR 1 mln to Romanian tax authority Romanian Insider