Of the EU-27, France, Poland, and Denmark have so far proposed barring companies that are based, or have subsidiaries, in tax havens from receiving coronavirus-linked bailouts.
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Meanwhile, the European Commission confirmed on April 24 that its existing rules allow individual EU countries to block coronavirus aid from going to companies based in tax havens.
“This is an important symbolic first step,” said Quentin Parrinello, who works on tax policy for Oxfam.
There is growing pressure on EU companies that get bailout funds to spend the taxpayers’ money ethically, which means the beneficiaries should reduce carbon emissions, not engage in dividend payments or share buybacks and not avoid paying taxes.
The Tax Justice Network, which tracks corporate tax avoidance, claims $500 billion (€460 billion) in tax every year is lost to multinational corporations “abusing the law to pay less than they owe in tax.”
It noted that this was 250 times greater than the UN’s appeal for a $2 billion fund to tackle coronavirus in the world’s poorest countries, which has yet to be met.
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