Nick Shaxson ■ Take action to back corporate transparency in Europe

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endeusecrecyUpdate: see the report in The Guardian here; see Alex Cobham’s mode detailed analysis of the failures of what’s being proposed, here.

We’ve been campaigning on so-called country by country reporting since 2003, and now world leaders, and many others, are beginning to introduce changes to bring this basic transparency measure for multinational corporations to life.  The website endsecrecy.eu has a new campaign to try and put pressure on European leaders to make sure that proposed changes are not eviscerated by corporate lobbyists keen to preserve financial secrecy for their corporate clients. Endsecrecy.eu offers pointers for you to act now to support this measure. As they say:

“Following one shocking corporate tax scandal after the other, the European Commission is finally discussing a proposal to make multinational corporations publish basic information about where they make profits and what they are paying in taxes – so-called country by country reporting. This move, which would allow parliamentarians, journalists, tax administrations and citizens around the world to see the truth, would be a crucial first step towards making all corporations pay their fair share.

However, leaked documents show that the draft proposal currently on the table would only oblige companies to publish information from EU countries, while data from tax havens outside the union would not be identifiable. This would render the information meaningless as companies would be able to continue avoiding taxes by shifting its profits out of the EU and citizens would still be left in the dark. In addition, the leaked proposal would only cover companies with a turnover of more than 750 million euros, which would mean that 85-90% of the world’s multinational corporations would not have to report anything at all.

And their action plan:

Tweet or email the Commissioners to make sure they put forward a proposal that is fit for purpose – see our suggested tweets below!

When multinational corporations and wealthy individuals don’t pay their fair share of tax, it hurts us all. The hardest impacts are felt in the poorest countries, but all across the world, ordinary citizens have to deal with increasing inequality, painful austerity measures and loss of public services. Transparency would instead lead to a number of important benefits – including better conditions for small and medium enterprises, jobs, and financial resources to support public services and sustainable development. Here’s a list of 10 reasons why country by country reporting is a good idea. That’s why many have already expressed their strong support.

See a more detailed analysis of the flaws in the European proposal draft here, from Transparency International.

More on our country by country reporting page.

 

 

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