Report from Luxembourg Day of Action

MTJN Convener Revd David Haslam reports from a European Day of Action in Luxembourg, in support of the 'LuxLeaks' whistleblowers Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet. In June, Deltour was given a 12 month suspended sentence and Halet 9 months, as well as both being fined, after being found guilty on charges of theft and violation of Luxembourg's secrecy laws. They have both lodged appeals against the decision, along with journalist Edouard Perrin, who was found not guilty but is joining the appeal as he is part of the same case. The Luxembourg Government has also appealed against the original sentences as they believed them to be too lenient, having originally asked for 18-month prison sentences for all three.

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Facebook In The News Again...

In October it was reported that although Facebook made global profits of around £5 billion last year, they managed to declare a loss in the UK which has ‘entitled’ them to an £11 million tax credit. In 2015 Facebook’s turnover doubled to £210m, but this excluded the hundreds of millions it generates in advertising revenue via Ireland, and they were able to declare a ‘loss’ of £52m. Now the law has been changed things may improve. However last year Facebook still managed to pay its staff over £70m in bonuses last year – despite its ‘losses’. 

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Annual Review 2016

As MTJN enters its 5th year of existence, we thought our supporters would like to see an overview of what we've been able to achieve this year, as well as an assessment of where we have succeeded and where more work is required. As an organisation that is always campaigning for greater transparency, it seems only appropriate that we should make our review of the year's activities publicly available. The review can be viewed by clicking on this link. We hope that 2017 will see further progress as we aim to increase our visibility nationally, campaign for the changes needed to create a fair international tax system that works for all, and make the Methodist Church a key advocate for global Tax Justice.

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Barclays Challenged on Tax at AGM

On 28th April Revd David Haslam, the Convenor of the Methodist Tax Justice Network (MTJN) addressed tax issues at Barclays’ Annual Meeting at the Royal Festival Hall. He began by reminding the several hundred shareholders present that the week had seen the start of the trial of Antoine Deltour, the Luxembourg civil servant who had blown the whistle on the tax dodging engineered for over 350 international companies by the Luxembourg Government and Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC). He said, ‘We thank God for whistle-blowers, and I trust any employee revealing tax avoidance by Barclays would be welcomed by the Bank, in the light of Barclays’ stated desire to “act with integrity in everything we do”.’

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Campaigns in Response to Panama Papers

I'm fairly certain that tax and transparency has never been in the news more heavily than it has been in the last two weeks. The reaction to the release of the Panama Papers, a leak of 11.5 million files revealing how wealthy individuals and corporations have avoided tax through Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, has been incredible. The European Union and the UK Government have both been under increasing pressure to deliver new measures on tax, and have this week revealed some of their plans. Ah, but there's always a catch, isn't there? Neither is quite up to scratch, and we need you to let your MPs and MEPs know what needs to change.

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Lent 2016 Cadbury Campaign Launch

METHODISTS CALL FOR CADBURY BOYCOTT IN WAKE OF NEW TAX AVOIDANCE SCANDAL

The Methodist Tax Justice Network has launched a new campaign against Mondelez UK, the owners of Cadbury, since it was revealed that they had paid no corporation tax in the UK in 2014/15, in spite of making UK profits of £96.5m through Cadbury products alone. Methodists and all supporters who believe that corporations should pay their fair share of taxes, are being urged to boycott Cadbury products for Lent and Easter, and to write to Mondelez UK executives explaining why they are taking this action. MTJN encourage supporters to continue this action beyond Lent, until Mondelez UK make a public statement of their intention to pay UK corporation tax in line with their UK profits.

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Tax Dodging Bill - What You Can Do Post-Election

I'm sure many of you were very surprised when the exit polls were revealed on election night, and even more surprised the next morning when it was confirmed that we were to have a Conservative majority government. This result will, of course, have major repercussions for all who campaign for social justice or work for civil society organisations. However, it is up to all of us to hold the new government to account on issues we believe to be important.

The Methodist Tax Justice Network, as a member of the coalition of charities and CSOs that make up the Tax Dodging Bill Campaign, believe that it is of particular importance that this government passes a bill within their first 100 days of government to tackle corporate tax avoidance. This bill will make it harder for companies to dodge taxes, ensure they're not getting unfair tax breaks, scrap UK tax rulings that encourage companies to avoid tax in developing countries and increase the transparency of the UK tax regime.

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New Report from Tax Justice Network: 'Ten Reasons to Defend the Corporation Tax'

The Tax Justice Network have today announced the publication of a landmark report entitled Ten Reasons to Defend the Corporation Tax.   A short summary document can be downloaded here, and the full document can be found here.

The corporate income tax is under attack. Nation states are scrambling to offer multinational corporations an ever growing feast of lower taxes, loopholes and incentives. Lobbyists and politicians constantly try to persuade us that the corporate tax is a bad, inefficient, unreasonable tax. Yet it is one of the most precious of all taxes.

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Press Release: MTJN and ECCR ask question on tax havens at HSBC AGM

HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint was quizzed on the bank's use of tax havens at their AGM on Friday 23rd May 2014 by a representative of the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility and Methodist Tax Justice Network. MTJN Coordinator Matthew Jones was in attendance at The Barbican Centre, London, acting as proxy for both the ECCR and MTJN Convenor the Revd David Haslam.

The question, which had been submitted to Mr Flint in advance, was asked in response to the company's annual report and accounts. At the 2013 AGM, Mr Flint had promised that HSBC would review their use of tax havens after it had been revealed in research by the charity ActionAid that 496 of their 1526 subsidiaries (32.46%) were based in tax havens. Mr Jones put the question to the HSBC Chairman, "In light of last year's statement, could you say if this number has changed, and if any review has taken place? If not, how many subsidiaries does HSBC now have and what steps is it taking to reduce this very large number of subsidiaries, a situation which many feel undermines the integrity of the global financial system?"

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Welcome to the Methodist Tax Justice Network!

Welcome to the new Methodist Tax Justice Network website, where you can find out more about all our latest campaigns, events and resources. We hope you'll take the time to see how you can get involved in our work!

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Methodist Tax Justice Network
The Methodist Tax Justice Network aims to put tax justice issues at the heart of the Methodist Church's mission, through campaigning, working with partners in the UK and overseas and educating and communicating within the Methodist Connexion.