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Director of "Business Action for Africa" opinion blog on corporate tax avoidance and impacts on poor countries' development

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29 November 2010

We need clear thinking when we talk about tax in poor countries

Author: Zahid Torres-Rahman, in Guardian (UK) blog

When people like me talk about the important development impact of business, a vocal number of NGOs in the UK, notably Christian Aid and ActionAid, will highlight how multinational corporations unethically avoid paying tax, or worse illegally evade it, thus depriving developing country governments of much needed revenue. The companies that are the targets of these campaigns, such as SABMiller...mention the huge contribution their companies make through their tax payments...[also refers to Unilever, Anglo American]

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22 November 2010

Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Depend on Latin America’s Tax Havens

Author: Bethan Rafferty, research associate at Council on Hemispheric Affairs, in Cutting Edge

In Latin America, taxation-related problems are rampant, especially in the Caribbean, where many islands are considered offshore financial centers (OFCs)...Along with facilitating tax evasion and money laundering, the use of tax havens for legal tax avoidance is contributing to poverty in much of Latin America...Ultimately, finance salesmen, along with social elites and multi-national corporations, are the only real beneficiaries...[T]o maximize development in poorer countries, tax avoidance must be addressed. According to the Tax Justice Network, “Tax is the most important, the most beneficial, and the most sustainable source of finance for development. The long-term goal of poor countries must be to replace foreign aid dependency with tax self-reliance.” [refers to Chiquita, Del Monte Foods, Dole]

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