New research shows that multinational corporations continue to avoid paying millions in tax in some of the world’s poorest countries. Tax Justice Aotearoa says New Zealand has a role to play to help stop this immoral practice.
Research published yesterday by the Consortium of Investigative Journalists – the organisation who brought the Panama Papers to the world’s attention two years ago – shows multinational corporations are continuing to use Mauritius as a tax haven.
“It is disappointing how little progress has been made since the Panama scandal to stop this behaviour,” says Louise Delany, Chair of Tax Justice Aotearoa.
“What we need now is for the New Zealand government to join with others to change the global tax rules to make them fair. New Zealand can support a global minimum effective tax rate requiring all multinationals to pay a fair share of tax, wherever they work.”
“Yet again we see multinational corporations manipulating the rules to siphon resources from the world’s poorest countries. These corporations artificially lower their profits so that they can get out of paying tax they owe. This is money these governments desperately need for health and education.”
Whilst technically legal, the behaviour is beyond immoral. Change is needed, and New Zealand can and should play its part to get a global minimum rate. This would make sure corporations contribute their share of tax anywhere they operate, just like the citizens of those countries do.
New Zealand can also act to ensure greater transparency about the behaviour of international companies operating here. Public registers are needed, so we all know exactly who owns and who owes what in the maze of companies and trusts that are used for tax avoidance.