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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

How Much Do We Really Know about Multinational Tax Avoidance and How Much Is it Really Worth? Comments Welcome!

At the Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa this week, the issue of international cooperation to address ‘tax dodging’ and illicit flows will be higher up the agenda than ever before. Credit for this is due in no small part to the various non-governmental organizations that have built up public consciousness and pressure through sustained campaigns focused on the tax affairs of multinational companies.

Talking about Tax Is Taxing: Pretending It Is Simple Will Hurt the Poor

Here’s an obvious truth: tax lost to trade misinvoicing in Africa does not equal tax lost to transfer mispricing by multinational corporations in Sierra Leone, which does not equal lost health-care spending. Unfortunately, a policy paper released on Tuesday by Oxfam makes exactly these equivalences. This sort of imprecision is widespread, and it’s not going to help the poor.

Kudos to the Philippine Government for Its Foreign Aid Transparency Hub

On April 25, the Philippine government launched Version 2.0 of its Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAiTH).   FAiTH records all foreign aid and assistance, in pledges, cash, and non-cash donations, given to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. The portal offers detailed information, by donor.  Information can be accessed online or downloaded for further analysis.  As of today, FAiTH indicates that the government has received $762 million in foreign assistance, of which $248 million is cash and $514 is in-kind assistance.  The total amount of cash received by the government, including from domestic sources, is $336 million.