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Capital Gains Taxes and Offshore Indirect Transfers

21 July 2020 by Oxfam and Finance Uncovered (part of the Money Trail project)

Fair taxation is necessary to overcome global poverty and extreme inequality. But corporations in many cases avoid paying their fair share of taxes in countries where their substantial profits are generated. It means developing countries in particular miss out on huge sums, which could be spent on healthcare and education.

In 2017, Finance Uncovered, a UK-based journalism training and reporting organisation, produced a story on how a UK private equity company avoided paying tens of millions of dollars in Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in Uganda after it sold a profitable business there. While researching this story, Finance Uncovered suspected capital gains tax avoidance could be a systemic issue – a new dimension in the tax justice debate. The following year, Finance Uncovered published three more stories involving oil, mining and telecom companies avoiding billions of dollars in CGT in countries where the profitable businesses were located. It seemed CGT avoidance was an important, yet relatively unexplored area.

In 2019, Oxfam started analysing further cases and potential policy responses. The result is this report. Its purpose is to generate appreciation for and understanding of CGT avoidance in the global tax justice
policy debate. We also hope this report provides a tool for civil society activists and investigative journalists to analyze and expose this form of tax avoidance.

Find the full report on the Money Trail linkedin