Oxfam today gave a cautious welcome to the OECD's plans to open up its tax reform process to developing countries but said more fundamental global tax reforms, beyond BEPS, are still needed to stop corporate tax scandals.
Within hours of Oxfam International’s Executive Director Winnie Byanyima declaring at the UNGA that the glory days for tax havens are over, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has released a damning exposé pointing the finger at the Bahamas for tax abuse.
This year’s G20 Summit will raise the stakes for the group to prove itself against growing doubts about its effectiveness – not least for people living in poverty, says Oxfam.
In response to the latest Panama Papers leak that exposes how Africa is being deprived billions of dollars in natural resource revenues due to offshore deals, Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said governments are just not doing enough to stop illicit flows, tax evasion and tax avoidance.
More than 300 leading economists from 30 countries have today written to world leaders warning that there is no economic justification for allowing tax havens to continue, and urging them to bring an end to offshore financial secrecy. The letter comes ahead of the UK Government’s summit on offshore corruption in London on Thursday, which politicians from 40 countries as well as World Bank and IMF representatives are expected to attend.
This global tax platform represents a step in a long road towards building a fairer and more transparent global tax system. The platform must be able to deliver tangible results and combat inequality, but most importantly, it must give the poorest countries a voice.
At the close of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s Spring Meetings in Washington, Chris Stalker, Acting Head of Oxfam International’s Washington office, commented on the week's developments.
“Today’s so-called ‘hammer blow’ against tax cheats misses. If the proposed registry of beneficial owners of companies and trusts is hidden from the public, how can we know who is hiding their profits and fortunes and trying to avoid paying their fair share?" said Susana Ruiz, Oxfam's tax policy expert.
Following the abuses revealed in the Panama Papers, world leaders attending the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund this week must seize the moment to take decisive action and help end the era of tax havens, said Oxfam today.
Fifty one of the 68 companies that were lent money by the World Bank’s private lending arm in 2015 to finance investments in sub-Saharan Africa use tax havens, Oxfam revealed today.