In many countries, there had been little or no public scrutiny of #taxjustice issues like the widespread abuse of ‘tax havens’ by elites, or the systemic nature of tax avoidance by major companies and their enablers like the big four accounting firms
Context: the European Commission position, and the European Parliament's superior amendments, were awaiting the member states to join the trialogue and agree the specifics of public country-by-country reporting. But Germany has now moved to prevent this.
Wider context: the OECD has been increasingly vocal of late in arguing that making country-by-country reporting public would betray the BEPS agreement that the data be private to tax authorities.
Here's a critique of the UK database entries of our Financial Secrecy Index, from a lawyer at Clifford Chance - one of the world's ten biggest law firms (per Wikipedia). And what follows is a response on the points raised.
To begin, we really value expert feedback. We had a nearly two-year review process before the Jan.2018 release, which we were delighted to find brought in a great many stakeholders, including experts, users and subject jurisdiction policymakers..
1. Are advanced tax rulings just a mechanism to corrupt the normal application of tax rules to multinational companies? (A quick thread as work avoidance)
2. The attraction, on paper, is that multinational companies get certainty about (some) tax treatment; as do tax authorities, who can then focus their limited resources elsewhere.
3. The risks? That the negotiation over advanced tax rulings is even more unbalanced than the usual negotiation over multinationals' actual tax payments. The tax authority has no threat of demanding audit or payment; and cannot devote the same level of resources.