Tax evasion and tax avoidance to dominate G8 summit next month
British chancellor says leading countries are ‘agreed’ co-ordinated action is needed
British chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne: “We all agreed on the importance of collective action to tackle tax avoidance and evasion.” Photograph: Yui Mok-WPA Pool/ Getty Images
Tax evasion and tax avoidance will dominate next month’s summit of the Group of Eight leading nations, George Osborne, chancellor, confirmed on Saturday at the end of an informal meeting of finance ministers.
The chancellor said leading countries were now “agreed” that co-ordinated action was needed to counter tax evasion and tax avoidance.
Mr Osborne’s focus on the issue will be augmented by the prime minister at the G8 summit next month in Northern Ireland ever since Britain put the issue at the heart of its chairmanship of the G8 in January.
“We all agreed on the importance of collective action to tackle tax avoidance and evasion,” Mr Osborne said after a two-day informal gathering of Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank governors. Russia, which will attend the G8 summit, is not a member of the G7.
“It is incredibly important that companies and individuals pay the tax that is due and this is important not just for Britain and for British taxpayers but also for many developing nations as well.”
The chancellor repeated his commitment that British overseas territories would “need to do more” in terms of transparency and information exchange.
The British government has been working closely with Germany, the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to seek to counter corporate tax evasion and avoidance and hopes to get a European agreement on evasion this month.
In a recent letter to the European Commission, David Cameron said they were working on further steps “to demonstrate their steadfast political and practical commitment to tackling tax evasion”.
It set out the UK prime minister’s ambition to make the European Council and the G8 summit next month “the turning point in the battle against tax evasion and avoidance and the restoration of confidence in the fairness and effectiveness of our tax systems”. – ( Copyright the Financial Times Limited 2013 )