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Oxfam reaction to Amazon tax ruling

Posted by Meg Pruce Press Officer

4th Oct 2017

Commenting on the European Commission's ruling today that online retailer Amazon received €250m (£221m) in illegal state aid from Luxembourg, Oxfam's Head of Inequality Ana Arendar said:

"Cosy deals that let companies slash their tax bills show how the global tax system is open to abuse. 

"Corporate tax avoidance robs countries around the world of billions each year - money that could be used to fight poverty. Poor countries are hit hardest as they are more dependent on tax revenue from companies to pay for public services like life-saving healthcare and clean water.

"Governments need to tighten tax rules to ensure companies pay their fair share of tax. In the meantime, the UK Government should not delay implementing laws to require British multinationals to publically report their activities for each country where they do business."

ENDS

For more information or interviews, please contact Meg Pruce on mpruce1@oxfam.org.uk / 07824 824359 / 01865 472240

Notes to editors

Oxfam's recent report Making Tax Vanish suggested that British multinational RB dodged £200m over three years by creating regional hubs in three corporate tax havens. It found that what RB terms 'developing markets' - mostly countries with large numbers of people living in poverty - may have lost as much as £60m in revenue as a result of the company's tax practices. Oxfam's investigation did not find any illegal activity on RB's part. RB has backed a public campaign for tougher transparency tax laws.

Oxfam urges all governments to work together and improve tax transparency by requiring all multinational companies to report on every country in which they operate, so it is clear what taxes companies are paying and where. In the absence of a satisfactory EU deal, Oxfam calls on the UK Government to enforce public country-by-country reporting for multinationals on a unilateral basis.

The UN estimates that tax dodging by big companies costs developing countries at least $100bn (approx. £78bn) every year - enough to educate the 124 million children around the world who can't currently go to school, and provide healthcare that could save the lives of six million children annually.

Blog post written by Meg Pruce

Press Officer

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