ActionAid launches new guide for investors on how to seek a responsible approach to corporate tax

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Article
1 May 2013

Taxing Human Rights? New ActionAid report says responsible tax practices don’t just make moral sense – they make business sense too

Author: Rachel Noble, ActionAid on Institute for Human Rights and Business

ActionAid is launching a practical tax guide for investors seeking a more socially responsible approach to corporate tax…Taxes provide the most sustainable source of revenue to governments to help them fulfil their primary duty of ensuring the progressive realisation of a range of human rights of citizens…Yet the reality is that pervasive corporate tax avoidance…denies developing countries’ over US$160bn in tax revenue every year…So, why does this matter for investors? The responsibility to respect extends to investors, who should be doing their own due diligence…to ensure that the companies in which they invest are not engaged in practices that are…adversely affecting human rights.The business case for responsible tax planning is becoming increasingly compelling. Firstly, on a purely practical level, businesses depend upon the infrastructure paid for by taxes…Secondly, irresponsible tax practices can increasingly generate serious reputational damage...Additionally, tax policy and planning pose significant regulatory risks….Finally, there are risks to the bottom line.

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Article
30 April 2013

[PDF] Tax responsibility:an investor guide

Author: ActionAid

This guide is aimed at investors seeking to examine corporate tax policy and practices. Tax is increasingly under the spotlight, intensifying financial, regulatory and reputational risks in this area for companies. Where tax practices are aggressive, they can also undermine the ability of governments in developing countries to provide public services…In this climate, investors need clear benchmarks to gauge such risks…Clear, verifiable benchmarks would also help companies to cut through claim and counter-claim, enabling them to communicate their tax policies and practices, and the true levels of risk associated with them. This guide is intended as a practical contribution towards defining such benchmarks across three broad areas of tax responsibility:- a responsible tax policy (content) responsible management of tax policy (processes) - responsible tax reporting (transparency). [refers to Aggreko, Barclays, Bear Sterns, Burberry, Cairn Energy, Centrica, Costa Coffee, Diageo, Enron, Experian, G4S, Glencore, Goldman Sachs, Hargreaves Landsdown, Imperial Tobacco, John Lewis, KPMG, Legal & General, Marks & Spencer, Mopani Copper Mine (part of Glencore), Morrisons, Old Mutual, PWC, Rio Tinto, Rolls Royce, SABMiller, Schroders, Smiths Group, Starbucks, Tyco, Vodafone, Wm Morrison Supermarkets]

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Article
24 January 2013

Tax avoidance - an introduction

Author: compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

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