Saturday, May 23, 2015Saturday, May 23, 2015

G-20 agrees on push to close tax loopholes, make multinationals pay

Published on Feb 23, 2014 4:54 PM
Ms Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund Managing Director, speaks during a press conference at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Sydney on Feb 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - The world's top economies agreed on Sunday to develop stricter rules on cross-border taxation to close loopholes that have allowed multinationals such as Starbucks Corp, Google Inc, Apple Inc and Inc to avoid paying taxes.

The Group of 20 endorsed a set of common standards for sharing bank account information across borders with automatic exchange of information among its members to take effect by the end of 2015.

"Some multinational companies aren't paying their fair share of tax anywhere," Australian Finance Minister Joe Hockey, who hosted the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Sydney, said at the close of the gathering. "We want a global response."

Reports of profit shifting by companies away from high tax countries to more relaxed tax regimes have sparked public inquiries in the United States and Britain.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!