Tax Expert Calls for Global Reform to Curb Illicit Financial Flows
Rachel Etter-Phoya of the Tax Justice Network told attendees that current international tax rules enable widespread tax avoidance and evasion by multinational corporations.
LILONGWE, Malawi— A leading tax expert called for sweeping global tax reforms to curb illicit financial flows from African nations, speaking Thursday at the conclusion of a three-day training on international taxation, writes Winston Mwale.
Rachel Etter-Phoya told attendees that current international tax rules enable widespread tax avoidance and evasion by multinational corporations.
This deprives African nations of billions in tax revenue each year that could be used for development programs and public services.
"Tax avoidance by companies operating in other countries is leading to a negative impact on the availability of resources for the realization of children's rights in those countries," Etter-Phoya said.
She called for reforms including public country-by-country reporting standards for multinationals and registers of the true owners of companies and trusts to enhance transparency.
A recent United Nations resolution initiated by African nations took a step toward establishing new global tax rules with a more level playing field for developing countries, Etter-Phoya said.
The resolution calls for drafting a U.N. convention on international tax cooperation.
"Trusting the OECD to set global rules on corporate tax when OECD member countries are responsible for over two-thirds of global corporate tax abuse is like trusting a pack of wolves to build a fence around your chicken coop," she quoted Dereje Alemayehu, Global Alliance for Tax Justice as saying.
The three-day training event was attended by civil society groups, faith leaders and government agencies from across Africa.