Beer giant faces audit in five African countries following $20 billion tax avoidance

Tax authorities in five African countries are to investigate giant brewer SAB Miller following an ActionAid report which found that the multinational company avoided millions of pounds of taxes in Africa every year.

For more information and interviews contact:

(International media) Natalie Curtis +44 (0) 203 122 0641 or +44 (0)7931787025 or Natalie.Curtis@actionaid.org

(UK media) Anjali Kwatra + 44 (0)203 122 0633 or 07941 371357 or Anjali.kwatra@actionaid.org

The African Tax Administration Forum will coordinate the groundbreaking investigation of the company’s transfer pricing strategies in South Africa, Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania and Mauritius.

Martin Hearson, ActionAid’s tax expert said:

“This unprecedented initiative marks a new era in which rampant tax avoidance by multinationals in poor countries will come under much closer scrutiny.

“Every year, big business dodges billions of dollars in tax to poor nations. These sums would transform healthcare and education services for millions of people.

“It is fantastic to see African nations working together to challenge big businesses on unscrupulous tax avoidance.  The rest of the world should follow their lead.”

ActionAid’s report, Calling time: Why SABMiller should stop dodging taxes in Africa, revealed in November how SABMiller, the world’s second biggest brewer, uses a complex system of  tax havens to siphon profits out of subsidiaries in developing countries, depriving those governments of significant amounts of tax - enough money to educate a quarter-of-a-million African children.

The Tax Administration Forum’s investigation was revealed by Logan Wort, the organisation’s executive secretary, in remarks made at the Deloitte African Tax Summit in South Africa and reported by South African newspapers today.

ENDS

Editors' notes

For more information and interviews contact

(International media) Natalie Curtis +44 (0) 203 122 0641 or +44 (0)7931787025 or Natalie.Curtis@actionaid.org

(UK media) Anjali Kwatra + 44 (0)203 122 0633 or 07941 371357 or Anjali.kwatra@actionaid.org

Note: ActionAid tax expert and author of the report Martin Hearson will be in South Africa from 9 – 20 May and will be available for face-to-face and studio interviews. To contact Martin direct call: +44 (0)7727 235391or e-mail: martin.hearson@actionaid.org

For a full copy of the report click here: http://www.actionaid.org.uk/doc_lib/calling_time_on_tax_avoidance.pdf