The international community has been debating tax avoidance by multinational companies for so long that even the most clever scribes are running out of new ways to talk about it.
In 2012, an editor at The Economist titled a column on the subject “The Price Isn’t Right,” a pun on the television game show The Price Is Right. A year later, the issue remained unresolved and The Economist apparently had run out of puns: “The Price Isn’t Right,” read the headline on a feature article on corporate profit shifting. The price is getting better, but it still isn’t right.
The 2008 financial crisis, which plunged many of the world’s richest countries deeply into debt, was the initial spur to action. The Group of Twenty (G20) bestowed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with the task of developing a strategy to stop the abuse of tax havens by wealthy individuals and to close gaps in the international tax system, which multinational companies had been exploiting to lower their annual contributions to national treasuries by between US$100 and $240 billion, according to the OECD.
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