CWC Investor Brief on Tax Evasion and Avoidance
Research briefing for pension fund trustees prepared by the Global Unions Committee on Workers' Capital, a joint initiative by TUAC, ITUC & Global Union Federation



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Why it matters for long term investors

The series of tax evasion scandals – UBS, HSBC, ‘offshoreleaks’ among others – concerns about the aggressive tax planning schemes by some multinational enterprises (MNEs) – Amazon, Google, the ‘Luxleaks’ scandal – as well as public concern about the low effective tax rate of some MNEs, are dire reminders that much must still be achieved to effectively put an end to tax evasion and “aggressive” tax planning worldwide. Civil society groups have been doing their part to keep the spotlight on tax evasion. Public sector trade unions have also been very active, including the European EPSU and, at the global level, the PSI.

Governments have started to take action. At the international level, the G20 countries, accounting for 80% of world GDP, adopted an Action Plan in October 2015 to eliminate Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) tax practices by MNEs. The Action Plan, which is the outcome of a two-year negotiation process, represents to most far reaching attempt in modern history to reform the global tax system and the taxation of MNEs in particular. In Europe, the European Commission has revived discussion on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base and has taken action along the lines of the BEPS Action Plan. ...