EU corporate tax, UK social impact bonds, China solar boom and whale meat food scare
Companies might soon find it harder to reduce their tax bills by shifting profits between European Union countries, under a new EU proposal to require countries to automatically share the approvals that tax authorities give to corporate tax arrangements. Currently, companies “rely on the complexity of tax rules and the lack of cooperation between member states” to minimise their tax liabilities, for example by shifting profits to subsidiaries, the European Commission said. Automatic exchange of information would enable countries to object to dodgy deals cooked up between some countries and corporations. The commission proposal comes in the wake of the LuxLeaks exposé of the generous tax rulings issued in Luxembourg, which embarrassed commission president and former Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker. The commission said the rule should take effect from 1 January 2016.
Investing for social impact
The UK is moving into social impact bonds (SIBs) in a big way. In mid-March, the government issued seven new SIBs, and says the UK now “has more SIBs than the rest of the world put together”. The bonds are a government promise to pay private investors that put money into social welfare schemes, as long as the schemes meet certain performance benchmarks....