Countries are losing a total of over $427 billion in tax each year to international corporate tax abuse and private tax evasion, costing countries altogether the equivalent of nearly 34 million nurses’ annual salaries every year – or one nurse’s annual salary every second.1 As pandemic-fatigued countries around the world struggle to cope with second and third waves of coronavirus, a ground-breaking study published today reveals for the first time how much public funding each country loses to global tax abuse and identifies the countries most responsible for others’ losses.

Alex Cobham, chief executive of the Tax Justice Network, said:

“A global tax system that loses over $427 billion a year is not a broken system, it’s a system programmed to fail. Under pressure from corporate giants and tax haven powers like the Netherlands and the UK’s network, our governments have programmed the global tax system to prioritise the desires of the wealthiest corporations and individuals over the needs of everybody else. The pandemic has exposed the grave cost of turning tax policy into a tool for indulging tax abusers instead of for protecting people’s wellbeing.

“Now more than ever we must reprogramme our global tax system to prioritise people’s health and livelihoods over the desires of those bent on not paying tax. We’re calling on governments to introduce an excess profit tax on large multinational corporations that have been short-changing countries for years, targeting those whose profits have soared during the pandemic while local businesses have been forced into lockdown. For the digital tech giants who claim to have our best interests at heart while having abused their way out of billions in tax, this can be their redemption tax. A wealth tax alongside this would ensure that those with the broadest shoulders contribute as they should at this critical time.”

Read the report

Country Tax loss inflicted on other countries Tax loss inflicted by enabling corporate tax abuse Tax loss inflicted by enabling private tax evasion Share of global tax loss responsible for
Cayman Islands $70,441,676,611 $22,819,899,267 $47,621,777,344 16.47%
United Kingdom $42,464,646,560 $13,671,390,701 $28,793,255,859 9.93%
Netherlands $36,371,503,832 $26,593,707,934 $9,777,795,898 8.50%
Luxembourg $27,607,634,145 $9,283,427,114 $18,324,207,031 6.45%
United States $23,635,935,547 $0 $23,635,935,547 5.53%
Hong Kong $21,047,358,012 $16,331,010,356 $4,716,347,656 4.92%
China $20,045,803,268 $20,045,803,268 $0 4.69%
British Virgin Islands $16,295,774,429 $10,405,615,250 $5,890,159,180 3.81%
Ireland $15,830,940,779 $6,068,846,053 $9,762,094,727 3.70%
Singapore $14,633,842,974 $12,221,060,747 $2,412,782,227 3.42%
Bermuda $13,843,144,682 $10,860,143,218 $2,983,001,465 3.24%
Switzerland $12,844,985,635 $10,953,644,082 $1,891,341,553 3.00%
Puerto Rico $9,177,305,410 $9,177,305,410 N/A 2.15%
Jersey $7,911,160,368 $4,465,999,479 $3,445,160,889 1.85%

In a series of joint national and regional launch events around the world, economists, unions and campaigners are urging governments to immediately enact long-delayed tax reform measures in order to clamp down on global tax abuse and reverse the inequalities and hardships exacerbated by tax losses.2

Tired nurse worker in hallway The equivalent of one nurse’s annual salary is lost to a tax haven every second Countries are losing a total of over $427 billion in tax each year to international corporate tax abuse and private tax evasion, costing countries altogether the equivalent of nearly […]

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