Readers may be interested to take a look at the conclusions reached by the recent G8 meeting at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland. Their full declaration is set out below: the aim is to improve tax transparency and to bring the international tax system into the modern age.
The G8 Lough Erne Declaration – issued 18 June 2013
Private enterprise drives growth, reduces poverty, and creates jobs and prosperity for people around the world. Governments have a special responsibility to make proper rules and promote good governance. Fair taxes, increased transparency and open trade are vital drivers of this. We will make a real difference by doing the following:
- Tax authorities across the world should automatically share information to fight the scourge of tax evasion.
- 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.
- Companies should know who really owns them and tax collectors and law enforcers should be able to obtain this information easily.
- Developing countries should have the information and capacity to collect the taxes owed them – and other countries have a duty to help them.
- Extractive companies should report payments to all governments – and governments should publish income from such companies.
- Minerals should be sourced legitimately, not plundered from conflict zones.
- Land transactions should be transparent, respecting the property rights of local communities.
- Governments should roll back protectionism and agree new trade deals that boost jobs and growth worldwide.
- Governments should cut wasteful bureaucracy at borders and make it easier and quicker to move goods between developing countries.
- Governments should publish information on laws, budgets, spending, national statistics, elections and government contracts in a way that is easy to read and re-use, so that citizens can hold them to account.
No doubt parties that have been campaigning for multinationals to change how they calculate taxable profits in the UK will watch progress on the implementation of these lofty words with interest.