International efforts to tackle tax evasion amount to little more than a sticking plaster, according to MPs, with the UK taking the blame.
A new report from an all-party group chaired by Labour’s Margaret Hodge has slammed efforts by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to tackle corporate tax planning.
In particular, the group looked at tactics to shift profits to domiciles where little or no tax will be paid.
A 2015 G20 agreement proposed 15 key areas for reform, and sought to increase transparency, while also improving international coherence.
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However, while MPs backed the progress, they said it will fall short of creating a fair and transparent international tax system.
Hodge slammed the role of the UK in hitting tax evaders in particular, describing the government as “a difficult friend”.
“[It’s] unwillingness to get tough on our overseas territories and crown dependencies, home to a number of tax havens, by forcing them to introduce public registers of beneficial ownership is frustrating,” Hodge said.
“The new prime minister must put an end to tax secrecy. The UK government should take a leading role and introduce public country-by-country reporting.”
As a result, their report calls for reforms including new rules to mandate country-by-country reporting for UK publicly quoted companies.
In addition, the UK should also force overseas territories and crown dependencies to adopt public registers of ownership.