The Guardian: Task Force report “proved influential on Treasury thinking”

January 27th, 2010

It’s been widely reported today that the UK plans to crackdown on tax evaders in an effort to assist developing countries.  Indeed, the Wall Street Journal reported this morning:

LONDON–The U.K. government will on Wednesday set out proposals to broaden the crackdown on tax evasion to benefit developing countries, setting a year-end deadline for a U.K.-led multilateral tax-information-sharing accord with emerging nations.

In an interview, Stephen Timms, the financial secretary to the Treasury, said that in a speech to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Wednesday, he will urge other developed nations to follow the U.K. lead. That could eventually open the way for multination tax-information accords, which would include former tax havens, developed and developing nations.

This UK effort seems to be based on country-by-country reporting as the Guardian wrote in this morning’s paper:

Large companies should reveal how much of their profits they pay in tax to developing nations to show they comply with local corporation tax regimes, Stephen Timms, the Treasury minister, will say tomorrow as part of a three-pronged effort to boost tax revenues in poor countries.

Developing nations must also be given access to secret tax agreements between western governments and other poor nations together with expensive technical support to help them rein in tax-dodging companies, he will tell the first meeting of a high-level tax committee at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Paris-based club for the world’s 16 richest nations.

The Guardian then goes on to credit much of this effort to the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development, citing a Task Force report on country-by-country reporting which was authored by Richard Murphy and published last summer:

A report by the Task Force on Financial Integrity & Economic Development, a Washington-based think tank, argued that country-by-country reporting was needed to support developing world nations. “Country-by-country reporting would be of considerable benefit to developing countries by letting tax authorities and other regulatory agencies see just what multi- national corporations located there actually do, how their trade is undertaken and what profits and taxes they declare,” it said. It is understood the report proved influential on Treasury thinking before the OECD meeting in Paris.

In addition, the OECD’s Global Forum on Development will be investigating these issues tomorrow throughout the day at OECD headquarters in Paris.  Task Force Managing Director Tom Cardamone will be in meetings on this issue throughout the day.  To set up an interview with Mr. Cardamone, please contact Monique Danziger at or +1 (202) 293-0740.

Written by Clark Gascoigne

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