Feb. 16 - Britain, France and Germany, at the Group of 20 nations summit, unveil plans to crack down on international firms evading taxes. Jessica Gray reports.
The UK, France and Germany are backing a new initiative set to crackdown on multinational firms evading taxes. The plan was discussed Saturday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Moscow. According to a recent report, many global companies avoid being taxed by "country hopping" to nations with lower tax rates. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER GEORGE OSBORNE, SAYING: "Now, we all want international businesses located in our countries and doing business in our countries, and employing people in our countries, and certainly Britain wants to have one of the most competitive tax systems in the world. But we do want businesses to pay the taxes that we set in our countries. And that cannot be achieved by one country alone." Revelations that companies such as Google, Amazon, Starbucks and Apple use complex financing to cut their tax bills has put the issue of big business tax avoidance to the top of the agenda in Britain. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER GEORGE OSBORNE, SAYING: "We want to have competitive international businesses. We want businesses employing people in our countries. But we also want businesses to pay the fair share of taxes." Details of the initiative are set to be revealed in July. Meanwhile, G20 leaders said they refused to engage in "currency wars" and said exchange rates should reflect market fundamentals. Although they agreed on that point, they deferred setting new debt-cutting targets, likely due to concern over the fragile state of the world economy.