Tax havens harm Africa, and accountants could stop it

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More from the OECD tax conference in South Africa:

The OECD’s Deputy Secretary General, Pierre Carlo Padoan, says capital flight to tax havens is harming the continent’s development.

He says while Africa is beginning to fulfil its economic potential, better tax revenues are needed to finance the infrastructure and the skills needed for a vibrant economy.

Read the front page of the TJN web site and you’ll see we’ve been saying this longer than just about anyone.

Now there is no room left for anyone to argue. Africa says it. The OECD says it. The fact that tax havens don’t agree makes no difference: it’s a fact that they deny, but that does not change the truth.

It’s why we promote Country by Country reporting.

It’s why we have promoted our Code of Conduct.

Together they could make a massive contribution to solving this crisis.

So why are the International Accounting Standards Board, the UK’s Accounting Standards Board and the tax and accounting professions as a whole ignoring this issue? Is it that they want to make poverty a reality? What other explanation is there?

My plea is simple: accountants could change the world. Please do it. We have a greater capacity to achieve this than anyone. We cannot duck that responsibility.