22 Jul 2013

G20 finance ministers back fight against tax evasion

7:33 am on 22 July 2013

G20 finance ministers formally back plans to tackle international tax avoidance and evasion.

A statement issued on Sunday after a two-day meeting in Moscow, said they support the automatic exchange of tax information between countries.

The BBC reports the group also backs plans by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to stop firms moving their profits across borders to avoid taxes.

The OECD said some company abuse current rules to avoid tax.

British Chancellor George Osborne said the announcement was an "important step towards a global tax system that is fair and fit for purpose for the modern economy".

The G8 group last month in Northern Ireland agreed to fight tax evasion. Britain, France, Germany, the United States and Australia are taking part in a pilot information exchange scheme.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has made the issue a priority for the G8 this year and Australia has agreed to do the same during its G20 presidency next year.

The BBC reports many multinational companies currently avoid tax - legally - by loopholes and tax havens, but the new rules could require them to pay more in the countries where they do business.