Major firms quizzed over tax

Starbucks, Google and Amazon are bring questioned by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee on the issue of tax avoidance. The multinational firms are accused of paying little or no tax on their UK earnings.

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UK and Germany agree crackdown on tax loopholes

George Osborne has joined forces with the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, to announce an international crackdown on tax avoidance by multinational companies.

Chancellor George Osborne Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Osborne and Schäuble said they would back work by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to identify possible gaps in tax laws.

The joint statement by the two countries admits, that "international tax standards have had difficulty keeping up with changes in global business practices, such as the development of e-commerce in commercial activities."

The two countries add: "As a result, some multi-national businesses are able to shift the taxation of their profits away from the jurisdictions where they are being generated, thus minimising their tax payments compared to smaller, less international companies."

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