Historic G8 tax transparency declaration

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland — G8 Summit leaders released a historic declaration that promotes corporate transparency and calls on all countries to "fight the scourge of tax avoidance." The G8's Lough Erne Declaration states that wealthy countries have a responsibility to ensure that multinational companies don't dodge taxes in poor countries.

Wealthy countries have a responsibility to ensure that multinational companies don't dodge taxes in poor countries.

The G8 leaders also noted how important it is to stop corruption within the oil and extractive industry sector.

The leaders also backed calls for peace talks in Geneva “as soon as possible” to end the conflict in Syria.

The G8 is an informal gathering of some of the world’s largest economies aimed at tackling global challenges. Established in 1975, this is the 39th meeting of the summit. Members are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States and Russia. Leaders of other countries are usually invited to attend the summit, but not to participate in all deliberations.

Most substantive result

The most substantive result of the two-day meeting in Northern Ireland is the agreement on new measures to clamp down on money launderers, illegal tax evaders and corporate tax avoiders.

Governments have a special responsibility to make proper rules and promote good governance.

The Lough Erne Declaration states that governments have a special responsibility to make proper rules and promote good governance. “Fair taxes, increased transparency and open trade are vital drivers of this,” it states.

“The G8's declaration is absolutely historic,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, a religious antipoverty organization. “Three years ago when Jubilee USA and a few partners were focusing on these issues, I never would have believed that just a few years later the G8 would be addressing these systemic causes of poverty.”

LeCompte said he would would like to see even greater moves for corporate transparency. He assessed, though, that the foundation the G8 built will lead to a more accountable corporate world than ever seen before.

“Developing countries lose more in corporate tax avoidance than they receive in aid,” LeCompte said. “The G8's work can provide a basis that could allow developing countries to collect what corporations owe them.”

The G8 commitment to curb corporate tax avoidance follows:

Lough Erne Declaration

Private enterprise drives growth, reduces poverty and creates jobs and prosperity for people around the world. Governments have a special responsibility to make proper rules and promote good governance. Fair taxes, increased transparency and open trade are vital drivers of this. We will make a real difference by doing the following:

  1. Tax authorities across the world should automatically share information to fight the scourge of tax evasion.
  2. Countries should change rules that let companies shift their profits across borders to avoid taxes, and multinationals should report to tax authorities what tax they pay where.
  3. Companies should know who really owns them and tax collectors and law enforcers should be able to obtain this information easily.
  4. Developing countries should have the information and capacity to collect the taxes owed them — and other countries have a duty to help them.
  5. Extractive companies should report payments to all governments — and governments should publish income from such companies.
  6. Minerals should be sourced legitimately, not plundered from conflict zones.
  7. Land transactions should be transparent, respecting the property rights of local communities.
  8. Governments should roll back protectionism and agree new trade deals that boost jobs and growth worldwide.
  9. Governments should cut wasteful bureaucracy at borders and make it easier and quicker to move goods between developing countries.
  10. Governments should publish information on laws, budgets, spending, national statistics, elections and government contracts in a way that is easy to read and re-use, so that citizens can hold them to account.

— June 18, 2013

Editor's note: Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 U.S. organizations, 250 faith communities and 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee's mission is to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee USA has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief to benefit the world's poorest people.

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