Briefing discusses tax avoidance as a business ethics issue

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Article
1 April 2013

Business Ethics Briefing: Tax Avoidance as an Ethical Issue for Business

Author: Institute of Business Ethics

This Briefing explores corporate taxation and specifically the issue of tax avoidance as a business ethics issue…The term ‘tax avoidance’ is used to refer to legitimate but maybe aggressive use of things such as financial instruments and other arrangements to obtain a tax result not intended, or anticipated by, the government...Paying a ‘fair’ amount of tax in the countries in which they operate is seen as a responsible thing for a company to do for the social good…[S]ome say it is morally indefensible for multinational corporations be avoiding paying their fair share of UK taxes. Avoiding tax is avoiding a social obligation it is argued…Company directors will often argue, however, that their responsibility is to maximise the value they deliver for their shareholders and that includes keeping tax costs to a minimum within the realms of what is legal…[Also refers to Amazon, Associated British Foods, Centrica, Dell, Google, IBM, L'Oréal, Microsoft, Old Mutual, Rolls Royce, Starbucks, Vodafone]

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Article
11 February 2013

ActionAid report into tax avoidance by Associated British Foods in Zambia

Author: compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

In February 2013 ActionAid released a report, “Sweet nothings”, examining the tax practices of Associated British Foods, looking particularly at the activities of its Zambian subsidiary, Zambian Sugar...The report alleges that since 2007 (when Associated British Foods took over the Illovo sugar group, which owns Zambian Sugar) Zambian Sugar has generated profits of $123 million but has paid “virtually no corporate tax” in Zambia. The report argues that as a result of Associated British Foods/Illovo’s tax avoidance, Zambian public services have lost millions...Below are links to the full report and a selection of media coverage including videos...Associated British Foods/Illovo has made the following statements in response to ActionAid’s report...

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Article
24 January 2013

Tax avoidance - an introduction

Author: compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

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