Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Tax and corporate responsibility: new paper

Richard Murphy at Tax Research has a useful new paper available, on tax and corporate responsibility. At two pages, it's extremely concise, and worth reading.

This is a subject we've been working on and pointing to, for a long time. For more information, see our web section on this subject. As we note:

"Tax is the missing element in corporate responsibility debates. Corporate responsibility should start with tax compliance.

Anti-tax lobbies seek to portray tax as a cost. This is the wrong way to see it. Tax is not a cost, but a distribution out of profits. That puts tax in the same category as a dividend - a return to the stakeholders in the enterprise. This reflects the fact that companies do not make profit merely by using investors' capital. They also use the societies in which they operate, whether that is the physical infrastructure provided by the state, the people the state has educated, or the legal infrastructure that allows companies to protect their property rights. Tax is the return due on this investment by society from which companies benefit. Moreover, tax is properly due to the state in which a company generates its profit, not to that state to which it can relocate its profit for taxation purposes."


Blogger Jack said...

A process of accounting called country-by-country reporting compels the multinational corporations to issue income and loss accounts and partial balance sheet data for every country in which they work, without exception. That would, of course, disclose the tax paid by country. This is necessary because it shows a result of the payment a multinational corporation has made to a state for the right to operate within the laws of that region. That’s why tax is the most reliable indicator of a corporation’s social liability that there is. And that’s why multinational corporations should be transparent about their compliance with the compulsion to pay, country by country, without exception, to ensure they are responsible to those people throughout the world who award them their right to operate.


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