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1 year since the Paradise Papers

1 year since the Paradise Papers – governments need to take action!

5 November 2018

Monday November 5, 2018 marks the one-year anniversary of the publication of the Paradise Papers, the gigantic release of leaked tax haven documents that made news around the world.

The Paradise Papers provided evidence of international tax dodging on a wide scale, and resulted in a call for action by political leaders in many countries. But one year following their publication, little has been done internationally or nationally to prevent the tax avoidance and evasion exposed by the Paradise Papers.

In New Zealand official and governmental reaction to the Paradise Papers has been almost mute, despite passage of the New Zealand Taxation (Neutralising Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) Act in June this year. Louise Delany, spokesperson for Tax Justice Aotearoa New Zealand (TJANZ), says that this new law simply doesn’t address the root causes which enable multinational companies and rich individuals to get away with not paying tax.

Tax Justice Aotearoa New Zealand (TJANZ) is part of a global campaign push to mark the one-year anniversary of the Paradise Papers, and call on governments to take action and Make Multinational Corporations Pay Their Share of Tax.

International cooperation is needed, along with effective enforcement at national and international levels. Significant criminal penalties should recognise the damage wrought by criminal behaviour. New Zealand should legislate to ensure maximum transparency with full public access to information on the activities of multinational companies and trusts.

TJANZ said New Zealand is perfectly placed to be a leader on tax havens and tax avoidance. "The world urgently needs countries to take concrete steps the fix the international tax system. New Zealand is ideal for that role."

"One year after the Paradise Papers scandal, we’re unfortunately still far from the point where the problems in our tax system have been fixed. Globally, corporate tax avoidance is costing countries an estimated US$500 billion per year. In the world’s poorest countries, one type of corporate tax avoidance alone is costing countries around US$100 billion per year. This money is direly needed to fund public services such as healthcare and education, as well as climate protection and sustainable development.

“There is no time to waste. Governments need to stop allowing harmful tax practices, and start cooperating internationally, to find a global solution to this global problem. They also need to introduce transparency, so that citizens can see where multinational corporations are doing business, and how much tax they pay, in each country where they operate.

“It is perfectly possible to make multinational corporations pay their share of tax. We need our governments to take urgent action to make it happen.”


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