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Alternative tax awards come to city of London

Christian Aid is to deliver an Alternative Tax Award to the offices of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in Cannon Street, the City of London, at 9.30 am on Thursday, 10 September.

The award, in the form of a Golden Palm, is one of a number given by Christian Aid to banks, financial institutions and accountancy firms to highlight the impact tax dodging by companies trading internationally has on poor countries.

Christian Aid estimates that countries in the developing world are every year deprived of $160bn in lost revenues by companies disguising their tax liabilities. If used according to current spending patterns, the money could save the lives of 350,000 children under the age of five every year.

The category in which the IASB has won the Christian Aid award is: Greatest Potential for Tax Reform.

The board is responsible for devising the rules covering how companies should produce their annual accounts in more than 100 countries around the world.

Christian Aid wants it to institute urgent reforms that would require companies trading internationally to report profits made, and taxes paid, in every country where they operate. That way abuses and anomalies could be quickly spotted. 

Other winners of the same award have included the Big Four accountancy firms - PriceWaterhouse Coopers, KPMG, Ernst & Young and Deloitte & Touche.

For the full award citations, please visit: www.christianaid.org.uk/images/alternativetaxawards.pdf

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For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact Andrew Hogg on 0207 523 2058 or 07872 350534, or Andy Wilson on 07817 584 870

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the life they deserve.

2.  Unscrupulous businesses are able to remove vast sums from developing countries through the use of a number of illicit practices known collectively as ‘trade mispricing’.

Scams include subsidiaries of multinational corporations based in one country charging vastly inflated prices for goods and services to subsidiaries of the same corporations based in other countries, allowing those making the payments to move large sums offshore. This is known in the industry as ‘abusive transfer pricing’. 

Unrelated companies can make secret deals with each other for exactly the same reason. Goods and commodities are exported at knockdown prices from the countries where they are produced to depress profits artificially and dodge tax. The company buying then sells them on at their true market value and splits the difference between the artificial and true price with the original seller.

A further scam involves goods from the industrialised world being sold to developing companies at hugely inflated prices to enable the company that is ‘the buyer’ to shift large amounts of capital abroad while reducing its profit margin and minimising its tax liability.

3. Christian Aid has a vision – an end to poverty.  Our new drive, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to make that vision a reality.    Details at www.christianaid.org.uk