Where are the profits? That’s the question in Helsinki this week

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I begin four days on the road today - I'm off to Helsinki. The Tax Justice Network and Finnish government are jointly hosting a technical conference on issues relating to transfer pricing and how to address the quite fundamental problems inherent in the OECD's arm's length pricing model of transfer pricing that almost invariably allows profits to be shifted into tax havens at cost to developed and developing countries alike.

The question we're seeking to answer is "where are the profits?" Followed by, "Where should the profits be?" and "How do we get them there?"

Now I admit the subject is a bit geeky: the fact that I reckon this is going to be an exciting few days amongst a group of experts whom I admire and respect and from whom I expect to learn a lot is enough, I'm sure, to qualify me as a wonk. But it's also vital. This is about how and why a country gets to tax a profit. And as we saw only yesterday, profitable companies are all too good at making sure their profits are not in countries that need the tax they owe. In that case if I blog about it more than usual this week, please bear with me.

And for those who nothing about it, I recorded a video introduction to the subject about 5 years ago I think, but it's as relevant now as then, so give it a watch.