Tax reform & fight against corporate tax avoidance should take place at the UN to include all countries, say experts

Author: José Antonio Ocampo, Columbia University & Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, former UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, on Guardian (UK), Published on: 13 October 2017

"Tax avoidance by corporations is out of control. The United Nations must step in", 30 Sep 2017

The rules that govern cross border profits enable systemic tax avoidance, because they allow profits to be shifted away from where they are generated to another country with a lower (or zero) tax rate – all as a matter of accounting rather than real economic activities. These rules frequently serve the economic interests of the largest multinational corporations.

Although this all seems technical and esoteric, the human impact is devastatingly real. When profits are shifted out, the tax revenues from those profits that could be available to fund healthcare, schools, water sanitation and other public goods vanish from the ledger, leaving women and men, boys and girls without pathways to a better future.

…[T]he current global tax system is having a disproportionate impact on those living in poverty…[A] dysfunctional global tax system is also one of the biggest obstacles to the fulfilment of human rights…

Fair taxation is critical to realizing the 2030 development agenda…

All countries should have a voice in the reform conversation and that this should take place within the United Nations. We need to put a human face to the debates about taxation. The public interest, and not vested economic interests, should be at the center of discussions and decisions regarding how public revenues are generated and spent. The current system is feeding the historical levels of inequality…

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