WASHINGTON May 1 Unlike a majority of their
foreign peers, most U.S. corporate CEOs do not support the idea
that businesses should have to disclose tax and financial
information on a country-by-country basis, said a survey
released on Thursday.
Country-by-country financial reporting - as opposed to
standard reporting in which multinationals lump together
financial figures from different countries - is gaining support
as a way to help fight corporate tax dodging.
Corporate governance activists support it and the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation, a Paris-based club of
rich countries, is making a formal study of it.
But only a third of U.S. CEOs said their companies "should
be required to publish revenues, profits and taxes paid for each
territory in which they operate," said the survey from Big Four
accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).
That contrasts with the results of a PwC survey last month
of more than 1,000 CEOs worldwide that found 59 percent of them
agreed multinationals should be required to publish financial
information on a country-by-country basis.
"The question is not whether country-by-country reporting
will be required, the question is, what will it look like? And
who will that information be provided to?" said Heather Lowe,
director of government affairs at anti-graft watchdog group
Global Financial Integrity in Washington, D.C.
Lowe's group wants country-by-country reporting to be
available to the public, not just government tax authorities.
One thing that country-by-country reporting would show is
whether multinationals are shifting profits out of major markets
and manufacturing centers and into tax havens.
Mark Mendola, who heads PwC's U.S. tax practice, said in a
statement: "U.S. CEOs may fear that overly broad disclosure of
taxpayer information would lead to misinterpretation and
increase the risk of double taxation."
The OECD has set a May 19 public meeting to hear feedback on
its January draft country-by-country reporting proposal.
(Reporting by Patrick Temple-West; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh,