Following a December meeting at Yale University, a coalition of financial and civil society organizations, including Domini Social Investments, issued a statement calling for a country-by-country financial reporting standard for multinational corporations. The conference was organized by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a non-governmental organization focused on curtailing the cross-border flow of illegal money.
According to GFI, "Tax dodging by multinational companies costs developing countries over a hundred billion dollars every year — more than the entire global aid budget — at a time when the global crisis is prompting severe cuts in states' budgets around the world and millions of children are denied a basic education." Working with GFI and other conference participants, we helped to draft the New Haven Declaration on Corporate Financial Transparency, which was endorsed by a coalition of civil society and investor organizations. The Declaration also formed the basis for a letter to the European Commission.
The statement's signatories "recognize that although one of the first responsibilities of business to society is to pay its fair share of taxes, aggressive and 'creative' global tax strategies have become commonplace among multinational corporations, resulting in significant tax losses to both developed and developing countries." The statement notes that "approximately $100 billion in tax revenues leaves developing economies each year due to trade-related price manipulation by corporations." Signatories agreed to support appropriate public policies in this area, and to commit to monitoring corporate activity and raising these concerns with corporate management.
Read the New Haven Declaration on Corporate Financial Transparency, and the letter to the European Commission (December 21, 2010), supporting a country-by-country reporting standard.