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The OECD is targeting what Secretary-General Angel Gurria calls ‘double non-taxation,’ his term for the practice of avoiding taxes in countries where a company is based and where it earns revenue.
The OECD is targeting what Secretary-General Angel Gurria calls ‘double non-taxation,’ his term for the practice of avoiding taxes in countries where a company is based and where it earns revenue.
(Yves Logghe/AP)

EU targets tax-dodging multinationals

It almost sounds like tit for tat: a European investigation into the propriety of tax avoidance schemes operated by Apple and Starbucks. With uproar continuing over threatened fines by U.S. regulators of up to $10-billion (U.S.) on BNP Paribas, the French bank, for sanctions-busting, it is tempting to see the European Commission’s probe as another salvo in a regulatory cold war. It is, however, much more significant; it reflects the first judicial move in a concerted effort by governments on both sides of the Atlantic to shut down tax avoidance schemes in which hundreds of billion of dollars in corporate profits are parked offshore.