The OECD report, called the action plan on base erosion and profit shifting, comes after Levin’s permanent subcommittee on investigations examined what the Michigan Democrat called Apple’s complex methods to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
Google and other corporate giants also use often legal methods to avoid adding to their tax bills.
The G-20 is also backing the OECD plan, which would give countries greater latitude to tax profits stashed in tax havens and make it more difficult to shift patents or copyrights into offshore shell companies.
It would also force companies to be more transparent about their tax planning with governments.
“International tax rules, many of them dating from the 1920s, ensure that businesses don’t pay taxes in two countries – double taxation,” said Angel Gurría, the secretary general of the OECD. “This is laudable, but unfortunately these rules are now being abused to permit double non-taxation. The action plan aims to remedy this, so multinationals also pay their fair share of taxes.”
Still, some groups on the left felt like the OECD proposal fell short.
“Global momentum is clearly moving toward requiring multinationals to publicly report information on a country-by-country basis, and this report underlines the OECD’s position as a laggard in the international tax arena,” said Tom Cardamone of Global Financial Integrity.