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OECD to fight corporate tax avoidance

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The OECD said it would launch an initiative to help ensure that multinational corporations pay adequate tax amid criticism that global companies like Starbucks, Google and Amazon successfully escape fair levies.

"An OECD study commissioned by the G20 finds that some multinationals use strategies that allow them to pay as little as 5 percent in corporate taxes when smaller businesses are paying up to 30 percent," the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said in a statement.

The OECD made the remarks as it released a report on tax erosion that is to be submitted to G20 finance ministers at a meeting in Moscow later this week.

"These strategies, though technically legal, erode the tax base of many countries and threaten the stability of the international tax system," said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria.

The grouping of industrialised nations, which seeks to coordinate policy among its 34 members, will submit an action plan by the summer, the statement added.

Britain, which has led the attack on corporate tax dodging, last month announced a campaign against multinationals to claw back £2 billion in revenues a year.

Online retailer Amazon, Internet giant Google as well as coffee shop chain Starbucks have come under the spotlight for their tax strategies in Britain and other countries in recent months.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, British Prime Minister David Cameron warned that corporations must "pay their fair share" of taxes and said he would use Britain's G8 chairmanship this year to counter tax avoidance.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130212/oecd-fight-corporate-tax-avoidance