UK: MPs Demand Tax Transparency From Tech Giants.

Press release from the Office of Margaret Hodge MP on Tuesday 30 June, 2020.

A cross-party coalition of MPs wants to force large tech corporations to unveil information about their profits and taxes. The group is led by veteran Labour MP and former chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Dame Margaret Hodge, and is joined by heavyweight Tory rebels including David Davis MP and Andrew Mitchell MP. They are campaigning for an important tax transparency measure that will finally shine a light on the tax affairs of Big Tech and reveal if they are paying their fair share of tax.

The group has tabled an amendment to the Finance Bill that requires any company that is subject to the new Digital Services Tax - including notorious corporate tax avoiders like Google, Facebook, and Amazon - to publish a country-by-country report of their economic activity. This key transparency measure requires multinational corporations to provide data on their activities, profits and taxes on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis. If accepted, unscrupulous companies could no longer rely on the secrecy provided them by shady corporate structures designed for the sole purpose of avoiding tax.

HMRC already collects this data on a confidential basis. In 2016, the House of Commons voted to make the information public but successive Governments have failed to enforce the legislation. The new amendment would finally lift the shroud of secrecy surrounding some of the worst tax avoiders. It will be debated in Parliament on Weds 1 July.

Dame Margaret Hodge said:

‘Large corporations have been raking in profits from the Government’s coronavirus support schemes on the one hand, while failing to pay into the public purse on the other. It’s high time that the Government takes swift action to eradicate the scourge of corporate tax avoidance.

I have formed a strong cross-party coalition of MPs backing a vital piece of legislation that will for once and for all divulge how Big Tech corporations are fleecing people not just in the UK, but all over the world. If it was serious about treating regular taxpayers fairly, the Government would accept our amendment and urgently implement public country-by-country reporting for the tech giants.

That would open the door for this measure to be applied to all multinational companies and once again make the UK a world-leader on financial transparency.’

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