United Kingdom: UK Taxpayers Back Greater Corporate Transparency
29 August 2013
Posted by: Author: Robert Lee
Author: Robert Lee
87 percent of Brits think that the accounts of multinational corporations should be more transparent and made publicly available, according to a new survey.
Research carried out on behalf of Christian Aid revealed that 57 percent believe that company owners should not be allowed to keep their identities secret. 58 percent of the 2,000 UK adults questioned agreed that a registry of ownership ought to be created and kept open not only to tax and law enforcement authorities, but to the public also.
Christian Aid commissioned the survey to test UK feeling on the issue of alleged tax avoidance and evasion two months after the landmark G8 summit in June.
Leaders from the world's eight biggest industrialized nations signed a ten point document that included the recommendation that multinationals should report to the authorities what tax they pay and where. Emphasis was also placed on company ownership, with the G8 declaring that "companies should know who really owns them and tax collectors and law enforcers should be able to obtain this information easily."
A number of the G8's members released their own "Action Plan" on beneficial ownership rules in the wake of the summit. The UK Government announced plans for ensuring that information about ownership and control is accurate and readily available to the authorities through a central registry of beneficial ownership.
90 percent of Christian Aid's survey respondents felt that companies should pay tax in all of the countries where they make a profit. 86 percent expressed concern that multinational companies were finding it "too easy" to avoid paying UK tax, while 83 percent feared such businesses received more lenient treatment than individual taxpayers.