Thursday, May 31, 2012

Daily Telegraph - The Cost of Tax Havens

Britain's influential Daily Telegraph newspaper is carrying the following letter in today's edition:

Cost of tax havens

SIR – A recent Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development report on implementation of its anti-bribery convention was critical of the British Government, which has ultimate and final responsibility for crown dependencies and overseas territories, including a number of tax havens.

Havens can facilitate tax evasion, money laundering and other financial crimes. We estimate that each year they allow some companies to dodge $160 billion in taxes in the developing world – far more than such countries receive in aid.

We call on our Government to support the multilateral and automatic exchange of tax information between tax jurisdictions. In addition, Britain should support public registries of the beneficial owners of companies.

Britain and other G20 governments should also commit themselves to more transparent accounting standards for multinational companies, requiring them to report their profits and the taxes they pay for each country in which they operate.

Alison Kelly
Head of Advocacy, Christian Aid
Dr Gavin Hayman
Director of Campaigns, Global Witness
Max Lawson
Head of Advocacy, Oxfam GB
John Christensen
Director, Tax Justice Network
London SE1


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