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Tax avoidance allegations loom over Brookfield prior to Annual General Meeting

Brookfield, one of the world's largest asset management firms, is facing allegations of tax avoidance through its global network of subsidiaries.

Tax avoidance allegations loom over Brookfield prior to Annual General Meeting

The Centre for International Corporate Tax Accountability (CICTAR) has accused the Canadian company of operating through tax havens. In a report published by CICTAR, Jason Ward, principal analyst, questioned Brookfield's claim of being a responsible investor and raised concerns about potential risks associated with artificially inflated profits through exploiting loopholes.

On June 9, Brookfield shareholders will vote on whether the firm should adopt public country-by-country reporting (CbCR), as proposed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The GRI offers a voluntary tax reporting framework that encourages multinational groups to publicly disclose their receipts in each country of operation. By implementing the GRI tax standard, investors believe that Brookfield's global operations and potential risks could be brought to light.

In response to the accusations, a spokesperson for Brookfield stated their commitment to providing relevant and transparent disclosure regarding tax payments. The company currently files a country-by-country report with the Canada Revenue Agency, which is shared with other OECD jurisdictions but is not publicly accessible.

Brookfield manages a substantial portfolio of over $800 billion in global assets, utilizing complex structures based in offshore jurisdictions such as Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man, and Jersey. Notable assets in its portfolio include partial ownership of Canary Wharf and Manhattan West.

Brookfield is not the only company facing shareholder votes on the adoption of the GRI standard. Amazon, Cisco Systems, and Microsoft, among others, have also held similar votes, reflecting a growing trend of increased transparency and reporting standards in the corporate sector.


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