MEDIA RELEASE: Latest Corporate Tax Haven Index reveals urgent need for tax reforms beyond OECD
For immediate release: March 9, 2021
OTTAWA – OECD countries and their dependencies are responsible for more than two-thirds (68.3 per cent) of global corporate tax abuse, according to this year’s Corporate Tax Haven Index published by the Tax Justice Network.
The TJN’s annual index ranks countries that are most complicit in helping multinationals to dodge paying their fair share of taxes. Topping the index this year was the British Virgin Islands, followed by the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. Seven out of 10 of the index’s biggest enablers were among Canadian corporations’ top 10 tax havens, as calculated by a Canadians for Tax Fairness (C4TF) report last year.
While OECD discussions to fix the global corporate tax system have been underway for years, the report highlights the shortcomings of relying on a club of rich countries that are most responsible for tax haven abuse to also reform international tax rules. C4TF joins the TJN and other tax justice advocates in calling for a UN tax convention to ensure broader representation and set stronger global standards for corporate tax transparency, cooperation, and accountability,
“Tax haven use by Canadian corporations robs our federal and provincial governments of revenues that are needed to help rebuild after the COVID-19 crisis. The government has a responsibility to do more to tackle offshore tax dodging, which has significant global costs, especially for poorer countries,” said Toby Sanger, director of Canadians for Tax Fairness.
“Canada loses at least $10 billion annually to international corporate tax dodging, and up to $25 billion according to estimates from the Parliamentary Budget Officer,” said Sanger. “We can’t afford to continue to sit on the sidelines waiting for an international consensus. There are immediate actions the government should take in the upcoming budget to stop the bleeding of revenues from corporate tax haven abuse, including clamping down on widely abused tax dodging schemes, ending double non-taxation agreements with tax havens, treating multinational enterprises as single entities for tax purposes, and supporting other fundamental reforms to international corporate tax rules.”
He pointed to a recent report by the UN Financial Accountability Transparency and Integrity panel that outlined measures to stop illicit financial flows and mobilize public resources needed in the recovery. Recommendations included improving corporate transparency with a public centralized registry for beneficial ownership information and requiring private multinational entities publish accounting and financial information on a country-by-country basis.
Canadians for Tax Fairness
Canadians for Tax Fairness is a non-profit organization that advocates for progressive taxes to fund important public services, reduce inequality and strengthen the economy.