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Reforms needed to deal with tax dodging multinationals in SA, say studies

Two research papers by the institute have found that some of the country's largest multinational firms are behind the massive loss of R8 billion in taxes a year.

Picture: freeimages.com

JOHANNESBURG - Studies conducted by research institute SA-Tied on corporate tax avoidance says that drastic measures and reforms need to be taken in dealing with tax loopholes in the South African economy.

Two research papers by the institute have found that some of the country's largest multinational firms are behind the massive loss of R8 billion in taxes a year.

The research programme has been conducted along with National Treasury and other economic cluster ministries by looking at data at the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

As noted by the study, many firms exploit loopholes in the tax system to avoid corporate taxation.

The study has found that mining companies and financial services firms are some of the worst offenders.

It’s been found that Switzerland is the main destination for siphoned-off profits.

Researcher Ludvig Wier says that it is the largest 10% of firms responsible for the shifting of profits.

"You have a few firms that are shifting a lot and a lot of firms that don't do it at all. I think that often we find that it is actually legal what they're doing or that it is impossible to prove that it is illegal, which is kind of the same thing. The fundamental issue is that it is international tax law that needs to change."

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