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OECD launches major attack against corporate tax evasion

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development just rocked the foundations of the status quo by announcing new international rules for tax avoidance.

The OECD, which was tasked by the G20 countries last year to get on the problem of rampant tax avoidance, has delivered on its promise that it would look into the issue – and it’s delivered in a big way. In fact the possibility exists that the types of sneaky legal loopholes that allow major multinationals like Starbucks, Amazon and Google to get away with paying barely any corporation tax every year – if they end up paying anything at all, that is!

Of course the critics have already begun to crawl out of the woodwork. Multinationals are crying poverty, claiming that pressures such as slim profit margins and attempts to remain competitive have already done much to hamstring the ability of these companies to pay their taxes without the measures they use now to reduce their tax burden. To that of course I say bollocks – these multinationals love to whinge and go on about how they’re absolutely destitute whilst their chief executives pull down massive compensation packages year after year, so I don’t want to hear such an absolutely transparent excuse any more.

There were actually some valid criticisms of the new measures from the anti-poverty sector. One charity, ActionAid, said that developing countries could find it difficult to implement these measures on account of the cost, and I can see how that could pose a problem. Luckily these measures will have plenty of time to be hammered out properly, as the quickest they could be implemented would be a year from now.

Still I’d very much like to see some of these plans come to fruition. Anything to hit these large-scale multinationals where it hurts would be beneficial, especially as it would shift the focus from harassing freelancers, contractors and small business owners when it comes to getting every last penny as possible when it comes time to pay your taxes every year. With SMEs and the self-employed supporting so much of the economy as they already do, hitting them with a higher tax burden than a multinational company seems inherently unfair to me, and in a major way.

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