Washington DC – A high-level United Nations panel report says global policies are needed to prevent trillions of dollars escaping developing countries through tax abuse and corruption. The UN group includes former heads of state, past central bank governors, business leaders and prominent academics.
"As countries combat the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus, they could use the lost revenues from tax avoidance, crime and corruption," stated Eric LeCompte, United Nations finance expert and Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network. "Countries can emerge from the pandemic with resilience and fund public services if we can curb these staggering revenue losses."
The United Nations High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI Panel), reported that around $1.6 trillion is laundered per year. Due to corporate tax avoidance in the form of profit-shifting, $500 billion is lost to governments each year globally. The UN panel report comes only days after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released the “FinCEN files," revealing that global banks moved more than $2 trillion over an 18-year period in suspicious transactions due to a lack of enforcement.
"Hopefully the report is a wake-up call," said LeCompte. "We must move forward global agreements and policies that increase transparency in the financial system."
The FACTI panel will release a final report in February 2021.