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200,000 sign petition calling for banks’ tax transparency

Lobby group calls on EU to force banks to disclose taxes on country-by-country basis

28 Feb 2013 Accountancy Age

By Calum Fuller

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BANKS SHOULD declare their taxes on a country-by-country basis, according to more than 200,000 EU citizens who have signed a petition to the European Union.

Avaaz, the lobby group conducting the campaign, said on its website that bankers are "using complex accounting tricks to avoid paying tax like the rest of us, and they're not even required to tell us where their money is".

It added "big banks are hiding billions in tax havens around the world". At the time of writing, approximately 210,000 names have been signed on the group's petition.

Currently, banks are only required to reveal how much tax they pay in total, with no itemised breakdown of where their taxes go.

British MEP Sharon Bowles (pictured), told the Guardian: "This petition, signed by over 190,000 EU citizens - including myself - demonstrates that taxpayers can no longer accept untransparent accounting practices by global banks."

The campaign comes as EU ministers discuss the capital requirements directive, which could see the changes brought in alongside international capital rules and a cap on bankers' bonuses.

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