Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil and Gas Correspondent
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Jul 23, 2013

Special report: How big tech stays offline on tax

LONDON (Reuters) – Big business was having none of it. In January 2013, a lobby group which represents the largest corporations in the world wrote a letter to the body that drafts the rules on taxing multinationals. The letter focused on a small change to an obscure document, but one that was significant enough to worry Will Morris, Director of Global Tax Policy at U.S. industrial giant General Electric Co.

The letter, which Morris wrote in his capacity as head of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee lobby, was addressed to Pascal Saint-Amans, head of the Center for Tax Policy at The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a group of 34 mainly rich economies including the United States. It expressed concern about the proposed language in an updated tax convention. Morris wrote – 13 times in all – that his group was “concerned” about the proposal, but had been ignored. Submissions on the OECD’s website show that lobbyists, especially those representing tech firms, had been voicing such fears for more than a year.

Jul 23, 2013

Most big U.S. tech groups slip European tax net

LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) – Most big U.S. technology
companies cut their tax bills by not declaring a tax residence
in their main European markets, preventing tax authorities in
those countries from even assessing their income, a Reuters
analysis of hundreds of corporate filings shows.

Last week the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) issued an action plan for tackling what it
calls corporate tax avoidance. This has become a major political
issue as citizens tire of paying higher taxes while companies
often pay effective tax rates that are a fraction of statutory

Jul 21, 2013

OECD publishes plan to cut tax evasion

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) – The Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development has (OECD) unveiled new plans to
tackle tax evasion by improving the way tax authorities share
information about individuals and entities like trusts.

Countries are increasingly moving to a standard of sharing
information on taxpayers even in the absence of any specific

Jul 19, 2013

G20 back fundamental reform of corporate taxation

LONDON (Reuters) – The G20 backed a fundamental rethink of the rules on taxing multinational corporations on Friday, taking aim at loopholes used by companies such as Apple (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to avoid billions of dollars in taxes.

The group of leading economies released an action plan drawn up by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that said the existing system didn’t work, especially when it came to taxing companies that trade online.

Jul 12, 2013

Amazon criticized over low German tax bill

LONDON (Reuters) – Inc’s main German unit paid income tax of just 3 million euros in 2012 after the group channeled sales to German clients of $8.7 billion via Luxembourg units, prompting one lawmaker to call for an investigation of the company.

Accounts for GmbH filed with Germany’s companies register show that the company reported profit of just 10 million euros for 2012, which was taxed at the headline German rate of 30 percent.

Jul 5, 2013

Governments to target tech giants’ tax avoidance – draft

BERLIN/LONDON, July 5 (Reuters) – Western governments are
set to target a range of tax loopholes used by technology giants
including Apple, Amazon as part of an
international drive to tackle corporate tax avoidance, a draft
action plan seen by Reuters said.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD), which advises its mainly rich nation members on economic
and tax policies, has been charged by the G20 group of countries
with formulating measures to stop big companies shifting profits
into tax havens.

Jun 28, 2013

Starbucks reports UK loss, pays no tax for 2012

LONDON (Reuters) – Starbucks, whose thin tax payments in Britain provoked a backlash against corporate tax avoidance when revealed by Reuters, paid no tax for the year to September 30, 2012.

The coffee giant’s main UK subsidiary reported its 15th straight annual loss at its UK stores in accounts filed on Friday.

Jun 14, 2013

G8 to shy away from naming and shaming corporate tax avoiders – draft

LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) – The G8 group of leading
economies will shy away from adopting a measure aimed at curbing
tax avoidance by highlighting when companies channel profits
into tax havens, and will include a watered down alternative,
according to a draft statement.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is hosting the
annual G8 Summit in Northern Ireland next week, has said he will
put tax evasion and aggressive avoidance at the heart of the

Jun 14, 2013

G8 to say risks to economy lower, reforms needed: draft

LONDON (Reuters) – Leaders of the world’s richest nations are likely to say next week that they are not content with progress so far in fixing their economies after the financial crisis.

A draft copy of the communique being prepared for leaders at a Group of Eight summit, which was obtained by Reuters, said actions by policymakers in the United States, the euro zone and Japan had reduced risks to the global economy.

Jun 14, 2013

Factbox: How to tackle corporate tax avoidance

LONDON (Reuters) – Western governments have promised to tackle corporate tax avoidance following revelations of the widespread use of contrived structures to minimise payments.

Leaders at a G8 Summit of leading economies next week in Northern Ireland will discuss the issue and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development will table a list of measures to put to the G20 group in Moscow in July.

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      "Tom leads our coverage of the oil and gas industry in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and is also author of 'Spills & Spin: The Inside Story of BP'. A former oil broker who turned to journalism 12 years ago, he is regularly interviewed on CNBC and other TV and radio stations on energy matters. Tom has reported from over twenty countries including Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Tanzania, the U.S. and Russia. As Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil & Gas Correspondent, he has chartered the rise in oil prices to record levels, interviewed oil ministers and the CEOs of ..."
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