| LONDON, April 23
LONDON, April 23 Most chief executives globally
would support the publication of country-by-country financial
information to help stamp out corporate tax avoidance, a survey
showed on Wednesday.
Campaigners have advocated requiring multinational companies
to disclose country-by-country information as part of reforms of
international tax rules, but the measure is opposed by many big
business groups and governments.
PricewaterhouseCoopers's annual CEO survey of 1,344 chief
executives across the world said 59 percent of respondents
agreed multinationals "should be required to publish revenue,
profit and tax disclosures on a country-by-country basis".
Corporate tax avoidance has become a hot issue
internationally and campaigners want companies to be obliged to
publish country-by-country financial information because it
could show whether companies are shifting profits out of major
markets and manufacturing centres, into tax havens.
However, under fierce lobbying from some groups, governments
have so far shied away from including country-by-country
reporting in planned reforms of international tax rules being
led by the G20 group of major economies.
PwC said the CEOs' approach to country-by-country reporting
was "surprising" given concerns that such disclosure would be
"costly for businesses to generate and is not easy for the
reader to understand".
But the business services group said the results showed
bosses were willing to be more transparent to address the
negative perception of big companies' tax practices.
British lobby group the Confederation of British Industry
said it still opposed the publication of country-by-country
financial data. Leo Ringer, CBI Head of Financial & Fiscal
Policy, said it could lead to misinterpretations.
Joe Stead, advisor on tax with charity Christian Aid, said
the data showed governments could be "more ambitious" in
measures to tackle avoidance.
(Editing by Susan Fenton)