RB tax avoidance – company calls for public country by country reporting after Oxfam report reveals profit shifting
Oxfam has today released a report on tax dodging by RB, the company formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser and the maker of thousands of well known household products.
The report looks at the 2012 restructuring of the company which saw it set up ‘hubs’ in the Netherlands, Dubai and Singapore, all well known corporate tax havens, and demonstrates the continuing power of the corporate expose as a mechanism for encouraging companies to change their ways. As a result of Oxfam’s work, RB itself is now calling on governments around the world to legislate to compel all multinationals to be transparent about the tax they pay though country by country reporting of key financial data.
Our good friends at the Fair Tax Mark in the UK have been pioneering a means for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to tax transparency, and to paying the right amount of tax at the right time and in the right place. (And what business wouldn’t want to do that?) Already the Fair Tax Mark has been obtained by businesses ranging from local traders to some of the biggest UK companies in the FTSE100 – and now people in the UK can find their nearest Fair Tax shop or office at over 2000 locations with the interactive Fair Tax Map.
Why does Fair Tax matter? You know why. Please check out http://www.fairtaxmap.com and spread the word.
TJN has always taken a sceptical view of corporate social responsibility. Our outlook has been shaped by the view that real social and economic responsibility starts with paying the right amount of tax, to the right country, at the right time.
Press release: Campaign to expose big tobacco’s lobby front may save millions of lives in lower-income countries
Below is a press release published today, 6 November 2016, with a wide range of health and international development organisations. It may mark a turning point in the fight to weaken the influence of Big Tobacco over the tax policies which are critical to save millions of lives in lower-income countries. The focus is on ITIC, a think tank which has claimed association with all manner of international organisations and global companies – while playing an important role for tobacco companies, as the WHO Secretary-General recently highlighted.
Update: covered on 7 November in the Financial Times: Nestlé and the World Bank are among a number of organisations to demand that a controversial lobby group for tobacco companies stops claiming links to them.
From the United Nations General Assembly, the fifth report of the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order. The summary goes like this:
“The report focuses on impacts of taxation on human rights and explores the challenges posed to the international order by widespread tax avoidance, tax evasion, tax fraud and profit shifting, facilitated by bank secrecy and a web of shell companies registered in tax havens. The Independent Expert calls for resolute action by the international community, including through the creation of a United Nations tax cooperation body, the adoption of a United Nations tax convention, the phasing out of tax havens, the revision of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to include the obligation of corporations to pay their fair share of taxes and the adoption of a financial transactions tax.”
As you can imagine with an introduction like this, here’s a lot of tax justice stuff in here, and TJN gets a number of mentions. It follows our earlier blog on calls by Rafael Correa, head of the G77 group of developing countries, for an international tax body. Among other things, the UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order discusses the definition of ‘tax havens’ and refers to TJN’s alternative term ‘secrecy jurisdiction’ while providing further details on TJN’s Financial Secrecy Index (FSI) and the top listed jurisdictions on the FSI 2015 here (p9 and in the annex).
We’ll highlight only this section below for now, which is a recommendation for the following: