For Eurodad, impact is not about achieving goals over a 12
month period. In fact, Tove Maria Ryding, the tax coordinator
for the European network of non-governmental organisations that
campaigns on debt and development issues – it is all
in the name – is hesitant to talk about annual
objectives. That is not to say the group did not achieve
anything in 2014. It knows it was not going to accomplish all
of their tax goals in 12 months.
|Eurodad is a new
entry this year
"We never thought it was a one year job," Ryding says. "We
knew that was going to be a long march. We have very high
If it is possible to pin down Eurodad's objectives for tax
in 2014, they were centred on an alternative to the BEPS
project, representation for developing countries in
negotiations on the international tax system and steps towards
"We need to have a recognition that we need to have global
tax reform, to ensure the world's poor have a say in global tax
policies and to achieve tax transparency. We need to reach the
public and reconnect with them," Ryding says. "The BEPS project
was always only going to be a tiny step against avoidance. We
need to look beyond BEPS. If BEPS can bring us a few steps
forward, then fine, but there's still a long way to go."
But it is not just about engaging the public, as far as
Eurodad is concerned. There has to be political action too.
"Our leaders need to say something, but I'm not sure they
realise they need to do something as well. They haven't
delivered," says Ryding.
Eurodad is particularly pleased with the strides that have
been taken this year on transparency. "We have to see what's
going on," says Ryding. Country-by-country reporting (CBCR) for
banks in the EU was a very important victory and thanks to
journalists and those who have leaked information, we've got a
chance to peek into how the tax system works. Developments like
LuxLeaks only make it more visible why we need global tax
reform." EU Capital Requirements Directive IV requires annual
disclosure by banks of profits, taxes and subsidies in
different jurisdictions from January 1 2015. It also requires
disclosure of return on assets in the annual report.
And Eurodad's reports, with to-the-point titles such as
"Hidden profits: The EU's role in supporting an unjust global
tax system 2014" and "Going offshore: How development finance
institutions support companies using the world's most secretive
financial centres" have sought successfully to raise the
awareness of their tax justice campaign with politicians,
administrators and the public.
Ryding confronts the question of whether developing
countries need more help to build their capacity to collect tax
or to exchange information with other jurisdictions. She says
the problem is the existing international tax system: "When tax
policies are not designed to benefit you, you can have all the
capacity building you want, it won't help, and exchange of
information just won't work if it's based on reciprocity."
Eurodad's objectives in 2015 are about more of the same.
"We need tax justice and we need more MNCs to pay their fair
share of tax," says Ryding. "We won't get all this done next
year. This is the mission we're on."
She also has a view on this list in 2015: "I would like to
see people from the countries in the developing world in the
Global Tax 50. People have to have influence on the top