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As revelations flow from the latest tax haven exposé dubbed the Paradise Papers, the Global Alliance for Tax Justice renews the call for governments to take immediate action to end tax havens and make multinational corporations and the wealthy pay their share of taxes.
Noting that revenue lost to tax havens is fueling poverty and rapidly worsening inequality across the world, the Global Alliance for Tax Justice says a priority measure should be to establish an inclusive intergovernmental Global Tax Commission under the United Nations, where all countries have an equal say in setting international tax policies.
At the national level, Global Alliance for Tax Justice members continue to rally under the #EndTaxHavens banner and demand that their governments implement progressive tax policies in order to fund the public services such as healthcare, education, clean water, affordable housing and transportation that are the real drivers to end poverty and inequality.
Progressive tax policies include closing tax haven loopholes, requiring public country-by-country reporting for all multinational corporations, and ending race-to-the-bottom tax competition between countries. Strong protection is also required for whistleblowers acting in the public’s interest.
The Tax Justice Network estimates that governments are losing $500bn a year in tax revenues due to tax avoidance by large companies around the world. An additional $200bn a year is estimated to be lost due to the undeclared offshore wealth of tax evading individuals.
It’s past time to put an end to the human costs of global tax avoidance and evasion that are facilitated by tax havens. Every dollar lost to tax havens is a dollar that could be invested in building public schools and hospitals, or delivering clean water and safe streets. Without the domestic resource funds provided through progressive tax policies, national governments cannot deliver on their human rights obligations to people. The poorest countries and the poorest people – especially women and girls, pay the highest price.
Tolerating all forms of avoidance as legal and refusing to take measures to minimize revenue loss through tax avoidance is incentivizing tax dodging with impunity. The Global Alliance for Tax Justice is committed to working with members and committed allies to ensure policymakers dismantle the global web of secrecy and harmful tax laws that facilitate tax avoidance and evasion.