Shareholders urge Amazon to boost tax transparency – FT


(Reuters) – Twenty-four Amazon buyers are urging the tech big to step up transparency in tax disclosures and undertake a brand new reporting customary, the Financial Times mentioned on Sunday.

Asset managers Nordea, Royal London and several other massive European and U.S. pension funds are amongst these pushing for Amazon to concern a transparency report in keeping with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) tax customary, the newspaper mentioned.

They need to convey a shareholders’ decision demanding the brand new customary on the firm’s annual assembly this yr, it mentioned, citing a letter to be despatched this week to the U.S. regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Aggressive tax practices can expose an organization and its buyers to elevated scrutiny from tax authorities, adjustment dangers, and enhance their vulnerability to adjustments in tax guidelines,” the buyers mentioned.

These measures come at a time when nations are trying to defend their tax bases from deleterious practices, they added within the letter seen by the FT.

The 100 teams that signed the letter included a number of environmental, social and governance-targeted and non secular funds, though not all had been buyers, the paper mentioned.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to touch upon the decision, however pointed to final month’s no-motion request when the corporate barred an identical shareholder proposal.

“The proposal implicates precisely the kind of odd enterprise points for which decision ought to stay with the corporate’s administration and board,” Amazon mentioned.

It could be impractical for shareholders to train direct oversight of such points, it added.

Amazon’s present intensive tax disclosures are in keeping with U.S. typically accepted accounting ideas (“GAAP”), it mentioned, including that it has publicly reported tax funds within the United States, Britain, France, Italy and Spain.

A December shareholder proposal by the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and Oblate International Pastoral Investment Trust urged Amazon to undertake the brand new GRI tax customary, and make public breakdowns of monetary, tax and employee data by nation.

(Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill and Clarence Fernandez)

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