Bankers are using complex accounting tricks to avoid paying tax like the rest of us, and they're not even required to tell us where their money is. But now the European Parliament wants to shine a light onto their tax avoidance. It's a no-brainer reform that expert economists widely support -- but key governments including the UK and Germany are siding with rich bankers to kill the proposal.
Negotiations end in just 24 hours time, and allies in Parliament say that with massive public support, we can win this landmark reform to end banks' tax dodging. Sign the petition and tell everyone -- if we urgently raise 150,000 signatures from across Europe, MEPs will deliver our message right into tomorrow's crucial meeting:
It's crazy that when governments across Europe are strapped for cash, banks are free to squirrel away their money around the world without telling anyone where it is. Using accounting tricks that serve no one but themselves, they can set up their accounts so almost all of their profits are declared in tax havens where they don't have to pay their fair share -- even when those billions are earned here in Europe.
Experts say the European Parliament's proposal is a key step in the struggle to hold tax avoiders to account -- as it would require the banks to tell us where their money is and how much tax they pay, and make tax evasion more difficult. It's called "Country by Country Reporting", and means they have to break down their accounts by each country they operate in, rather than just provide one meaningless, global number.
But despite talking tough on tax avoiders, the British and German governments are leading resistance to the Parliament's proposal. Let's deliver 150,000 signatures in the next 24 hours and empower key MEPs to end this banker outrage - sign and spread the word:
We know that this can work. Last year, hundreds of thousands of us successfully pushed the EU to agree measures to put criminal bankers behind bars -- with the EU Finance Commissioner crediting Avaaz with helping turn the tide. Now, let's make sure we stop banks' tax avoidance.
Luis, Emma, Paul, Emily, Alex, Wen-Hua and the rest of the Avaaz team
European banks face tough disclosure rules (New Statesman):
Country-by-country reporting is making progress despite the UK (Tax Research UK):
Barclays secret tax avoidance factory that made £1bn a year profit disbanded (Guardian):