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David Cameron, British prime minister, at an end of summit press conference, Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, June 18, 2013
The G-8 (Group of Eight - - 7 leading industrialised nations; US, Japan,
Germany, UK, France Canada, Italy plus Russia) have agreed on proposals to tackle
tax avoidance and evasion that call for new laws to stop businesses from
shifting profits across borders, urge greater transparency about company
ownership and sharing of information.
The agreement came at the end of a two-day summit meeting at Lough Erne,
Northern Ireland, where the issue was one of the main subjects under discussion
and will again be at a G-20 (Group of Twenty: 19 leading advanced and emerging
countries) summit next month in St Petersburg, Russia, when the Organisation for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will present proposals for changes
in international corporate taxation rules that have been in place for decades.
The G-8 leaders said tax authorities around the world should automatically share
information to "fight the scourge of tax evasion."
In addition, multinational companies should tell tax authorities what tax they
pay and where they pay it, the agreement states. However, there wasn't support
for country-by-country public transparency, which Michel Barnier, EU financial
services commissioner, has proposed.
"We've commissioned a new international mechanism that will identify where
multinational companies are earning their profits and paying their taxes so we
can track and expose those who aren't paying their fair share," David Cameron,
British prime minister, said at an end of summit pres conference. "It may not be
the catchiest name in the world, but this international tax tool is going to be
a real feature of ensuring we get proper tax payment and proper tax justice in
The agreement also calls for the true owners of companies to be named, saying
firms should know who really owns them and tax collectors and law enforcers
should be able to obtain this information easily. "Some basic company
information should be publicly accessible,"
the communiqué says [pdf].
While all G-8 countries are also set to produce “action plans” on beneficial
ownership, Russia, Germany and Japan will not publish them until later this
Cameron also failed to get the G-8 leaders to agree that an agreement on
automatic exchange of tax information should be open immediately to developing
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