Thursday, June 24, 2010

Free counselling for accountants driven loopy by tax loopholes


ActionAid campaigners demanding tax justice for developing countries added colour to an arcane-sounding accountancy event in central London on Thursday 24th June by offering a free counselling service for accountants attending the International Accounting Standard Board’s IFRS conference.

This is the first time an IASB event has been targeted by campaigners. ActionAid says it wants to draw attention to calls for a country-by-country reporting standard within the IASB’s IFRS6 standard for extractive industries, which is currently being reviewed and will be discussed at the conference.

“We’re not against the IASB, in fact we think it can be a positive force for good. But it must consider the needs of all users of company accounts, in developing and developed countries,” explained Martin Hearson, ActionAid Policy Advisor and therapist-in-chief.

“We’re here to urge the IASB to deliver country-by-country reporting in the extractive industries. Greater transparency in the tax affairs of multinational companies is a vital step towards enabling developing countries to finance their own development, as well as a way to tackle corruption and make governments more accountable to their citizens.”

“ActionAid believes that transparency is the best medicine to tackle tax evasion and corruption, and like others in the Publish What You Pay coalition we want the IASB to support country-by-country financial reporting.”

African countries lose huge amounts of tax revenue that could be used to combat poverty as a result of corruption, combined with tax dodging by mining companies. ActionAid says that including country-by-country reporting in IFRS6 would reduce the levels of secrecy within the industry and allow citizens to monitor the payments made to governments, as well as helping tax authorities to detect tax evasion practices.

The campaigners were outside the conference as the Outlandish Revenue Service, committed to going to ludicrous lengths to achieve tax justice. They invited accountants driven loopy by tax loopholes or crazed by convergence to relax on their chaise longue and receive free counselling advice from highly trained professionals. In return for this free counselling, campaigners urged accountants to ensure that country-by-country reporting is included in their discussions


For more information contact Sean Kenny on 07872 378251 or Martin Hearson on 07727 235391.

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