Tax justice is key in the fight against privatisation. Throughout the region, governments, civil society, trade unions and every citizen are all debating taxation: who pays, who should be paying; how much and why. Questions about harnessing tax dollars to improve societies and build growth are at the heart of discussions about economic growth, public spending and debates about high national debts. Fair and progressive taxation is a key demand from our affiliates.
There are tax havens in the Inter-Americas region, used by companies that do not want to pay taxes. Some use vague accounting practices and other means to evade taxation – often with the complicity of States which, in its turn, allow the use of vague accounting mechanisms. Large, well-known companies – Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, FedEx, Google – which operate in almost all our countries in the region, some with a physical presence, others through online services - pay no taxes; either in their country of origin or in the various capitals around the world. This is why we must demand from governments a review of nondouble taxation agreements signed with tax havens and ask them to support the multilateral agreements of automatic exchange of tax information.
Tax havens deprive state governments of billions of dollars of revenues when corporations and individuals shift earnings to financial institutions in countries where they can reduce their income tax liability. For example, the US federal government loses approximately $150 billion in federal tax revenues every year due to corporations and wealthy individuals sending their money to offshore tax havens. The federal government shoulders this burden by cutting public services or adding to the national debt. PSI Americas will therefore:
- use its global reputation to build a strong and powerful tax justice campaign (also linked to the anti-corruption campaign);
- assist affiliates in further developing their capacity to research and analyse the tax systems in their countries;
- work with other regional actors to build a broader regional movement for tax justice;
- assist affiliates in developing materials and tools to educate activists on tax justice;
- identify key affiliates to launch anti-corruption campaigns;
- assist affiliates in drafting and promoting whistleblower protection.