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Multi-nationals could be forced to publish tax information

publish tax information

After cross-party lobbying, a new amendment has been accepted to the finance Bill, which will force multi-national companies to publish their tax information.

Hailed as a victory for corporate tax transparency and "openness", the Bill was devised by Caroline Flint MP and garnered the support of more than 60 other members of parliament.

The amendment gives the government power to ask companies that are trading within the UK to be more open about where they do business and how much tax they pay each year.

It states that tax information should include a "country-by-country report", showing what revenues are earned in which nation.

Responding to the news with a tweet, Caroline Flint MP called the decision of the government to accept her amendment - which was first introduced in March - a ‘victory for openness’.

The idea was first launched under Parliament's Ten Minute Rule, which allows any MP to suggest their own legislation. Ms Flint then filed a formal amendment to the finance bill when it was at the committee stage of the acceptance process in the House of Commons.

It could mean that multinationals that are based in or have significant dealings in the UK would need to make information about their profits, when they were earned and what taxes they paid on them, publically available.

Announcing the acceptance of the amendment, Jane Ellison, the financial secretary to the Treasury, told the Commons that the government had been a firm "supporter of greater tax transparency and greater public disclosure of the tax affairs of large businesses".

"For those reasons, we fully support the intentions of amendment 145 and will support its inclusion in the Bill," she added. Ms Elision also went on to explain that the government would push for the amendment to be introduced on a multilateral basis and would “take every opportunity to champion this agenda at an international level”.

Speaking after the announcement, Ms Flint said it sent a "clear message" to global companies that move profits to pay lower taxes that they are expected to "play by the same rules as every other business".