DEMMIN, Germany (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel took aim on Wednesday at multinational corporations that use tax rules in Europe and the United States to avoid payments and said the Group of Eight plans to fight tax havens.
“It’s not right that giant global companies have huge sales here (in Germany), in all of Europe, in the United States and elsewhere and then only pay taxes somewhere in a tiny tax haven,” Merkel said in a speech in the northern town of Demmin.
“That’s why we’re going to fight to finally put an end to tax havens at the G8 meeting this year in Great Britain,” she said. “The whole world will have to fight for it otherwise we won’t accomplish that.”
Merkel was speaking before a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 developed and emerging economies in Moscow.
On Tuesday the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development called for an urgent overhaul of international corporate tax rules to stop big companies escaping payment of billions of euros to cash-strapped governments.
Governments face a growing outcry from voters to force big companies with extensive international business to pay more tax after evidence that many use differences between national tax rules to reduce their bill.
The OECD said multinational companies were increasingly reporting profits in countries other than where their main revenues were generated to avoid taxes.
OECD governments have trimmed their statutory corporate income tax rates to an average of 25.4 percent in 2011 from 32.6 percent in 2000.
Reporting by Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by Ruth Pitchford