More moves to force companies to say where they are – which is in tax havens

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The Financial Mail is continuing its campaign on tax haven activity by major companies:

Hundreds of secret tax haven subsidiaries belonging to major companies have been revealed after Financial Mail exposed widespread failures of disclosure in Companies House filings.

Fifteen companies - including Marks & Spencer and insurance giant Legal & General - have admitted that they control a total of 568 subsidiaries in secretive locations such as the Cayman Islands and Jersey.

The details emerged after the firms resubmitted a list of their subsidiaries to Companies House. The firms acted after being contacted by Financial Mail following a complaint by charity ActionAid and after receiving letters from Companies House.

This is, of course, the continuation of work I began with the Tax Justice Network two years ago - and good for all who have taken it forward.

As the Mail reports:

A spokeswoman for Companies House confirmed that it had contacted-49 firms in the FTSE 100 to warn that failing to disclose makes directors liable for steep fines.

Miner Anglo American is revealed as having 30 offshore subsidiaries in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) - including Ambase Exploration ( Tanzania) Limited - and the same number in Luxembourg, including Anglo American Exploration Columbia Sarl. Anglo South American Investments Limited is based in Mauritius.

Retailer Burberry admits to having seven subsidiaries in Luxembourg, while technology giant Smiths Group has a subsidiary called John Crane Ireland Limited, based in the Cayman Islands.

Media giant BSkyB's subsidiary Oddschecker (Jersey) Limited is registered in the BVI.

A further 14 companies - including British Airways, cruise giant Carnival and supermarket group Morrisons - were in the process of filing disclosure of their subsidiaries or were at least looking into the issue.

Of course, this disclosure would be a routine part of country-by-country reporting.

The case for country-by-country reporting is becoming unassailable.