agence france presse
Enniskillen (UK), 18 JUNE: The world’s leading industrialised nations struck a deal today to crack down on the “scourge” of tax evasion and share more cross-border financial information.
Gathered in Northern Ireland for a summit, G8 leaders vowed concrete steps to target not only illegal tax evasion but also tax avoidance by multinationals such as Google, Amazon and Starbucks that costs taxpayers billions in lost revenues.
“Tax authorities across the world should automatically share information to fight the scourge of tax evasion,” the G8 said in a statement after a two-day summit.
“Countries should change rules that let companies shift their profits across borders to avoid taxes, and multinationals should report to tax authorities what tax they pay where,” it said.
The declaration, which came after talks on financial policy today, also called for greater transparency on corporate ownership. “Companies should know who really owns them and tax collectors and law enforcers should be able to obtain this information easily,” the statement said. Host Prime Minister David Cameron made tax, trade and transparency — the so-called “Three Ts” — a key focus of the two-day G8 summit, which has otherwise been dominated by the conflict in Syria.
After yesterday announcing the launch of negotiations next month for a crucial EU-US free trade pact, the focus turned today to the other two “Ts”.
According to a draft of the final summit communique obtained by AFP, the leaders agreed measures to share information internationally and to each publish national “Action Plans” on corporate ownerships and trusts used to avoid taxes. “We commit to establish automatic exchange of information between tax authorities as the new global standard,” the draft reads, promising to develop a “multilateral model which will make it easier for governments to find and punish tax evaders.” It promises to ”rapidly” create a system for "multinationals to report to tax authorities where they make their profits and pay their taxes across the world.”