Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) Should Pay Taxes in The Country Where They Earn Their Profits – Professor Lee
The socio-economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has ignited a renewed demand to create a global financial system that will uphold economic and gender justice, create a sustainable future and value the rights and wellbeing of citizens.
Even before COVID-19 disrupted lives and economies, countries faced widespread cross-border corruption, tax evasion and sophisticated money laundering which complicated their efforts to recover the proceeds. These abuses threaten Governments’ ability to provide basic goods and services and drain resources from sustainable development (FACTI, 2020).
In order for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to better understand the international tax framework, SEATINI Uganda with support from USAID-Domestic Revenue Mobilisation (DRM) for Development and Oxfam organized a technical talk on Understanding the tax systems and the role of Civil Society.
The guest speaker during the technical talk was Prof. Lee Burns. Prof. Lee Burns is an Honorary Professor, Graduate School of Government, University of Sydney. He specializes in international and comparative tax law. He still is a contributor to the leading comparative tax work, Tax Law Design and Drafting.
The meeting attracted Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
“In 2014 I did not know anything about tax but today as a member of the Tax Justice Alliance Uganda, I am confident of the knowledge I have attained on tax,” Mr. Mbazira Henry a member of the Steering Committee on Tax Justice Alliance Uganda noted, during the meeting.
Mr. Mbaziira also encouraged fellow attendees to reflect on who came up with ideas around how we borrow and recommend that we need to develop home-grown solutions to our economic problems.
Mr. Kieran Holmes the Chief of Party DRM4D USAID was also in attendance. In his remarks he emphasized their commitment supporting the capacity development of CSOs in the area of tax.
Prof. Lee in his remarks proposed that government should focus more on the big international corporations as they have a larger tax potential contribution than MSMEs because the cost of collection must be justifiable instead of spending a lot of resources on the smaller enterprises which might even be harder to track.
He also recommended that the Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) should pay taxes in the country where they earn their profits. This is because it is more difficult to track them from abroad. He further encouraged that these multinational organisations are already complying in other foreign countries and would be forced to comply with paying locally.
Ms. Regina Navuga, the Financing For Development (FFD) Coordinator at SEATINI Uganda reiterated that Tax Chats are part of the activities SEATINI Uganda and other partners organize to equip the Tax Justice Alliance of Uganda members and other stake holders and interested parties in mat