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On Anniversary of Tax Law, Celebrations Are in Board Rooms — Not Living Rooms

By Gary Kalman

Supporters of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act might have hoped for a more celebratory first year anniversary.  The public has not seen the kinds of benefits promised — few have seen anything close to $4000 raises, and real wage growth, accounting for inflation, continues to be sluggish.  And despite surging corporate profits, the stock market took a tumble as other factors weigh heavy on the minds of investors. Even the board room celebrations are muted at best.

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Sustainability Panel Proposes Tax Transparency Standard

Global Reporting Initiative’s Proposal Could Bring Public Country-by-Country Reporting of Taxes, Profits, Revenues, and Employees to More than 4,000 Companies

Plan Comes as U.S. Senators Call on GM to Disclose Country-by-Country Data

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A global sustainability standards-setting body issued a proposal Thursday to have multinational companies publicly disclose basic financial information on a country-by-country basis, in a move praised by transparency advocates.  The Sustainability Reporting Standards from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) are voluntarily followed by over 4,000 businesses in more than 90 countries.  The draft GRI “Standard on Tax and Payments to Governments” was developed by a multi-stakeholder technical committee consisting of representatives from PricewaterhouseCoopers, MFS Investment Management, Vodaphone PLC, and the Tax Justice Network, among others.

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Muddled Markets

Investors are at an increasing risk due to the lack of information disclosed by companies about their tax practices, according to this November 2018 report published by the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT Coalition). Titled “Muddled Markets: Investors Increasingly at Risk from Lack of Disclosures about Corporate Tax Practices,” the report finds that multinational companies have become increasingly reliant on offshore tax avoidance practices to boost short-term earnings in recent years, yet disclosure requirements haven’t kept pace with this changing world.

As governments around the globe struggle with growing budget deficits, tax authorities are increasingly cracking down on aggressive tax avoidance practices, which can have a significant impact on shareholder value. At the same time, shifting national policies around international taxation — including, but not limited to, the recent tax overhaul in the United States — create complexity and uncertainties with respect to returns for investors.

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New Study: Shareholders at Risk from Lack of Corporate Tax Disclosures

Investors and Analysts Call for More Disclosures around Offshore Tax Practices as Shifting Tax Policies and Increased Enforcement Actions Impact Shareholder Value

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Investors are at an increasing risk from the lack of information disclosed by companies about their tax practices, according to a new analysis published today by the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition.

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