Greater Manchester Pension Fund calls for tax transparency from US oil firm

The Greater Manchester Pension Fund has called for American oil firm ConocoPhillips to ensure more transparency about its tax practices.

As reported by our sister publication, European Pensions, the demand will be made, in partnership with NGO Oxfam and Danish pension company PenSam, at the oil company’s upcoming general meeting.

PenSam said that the proposal will be made on the basis of “cases of aggressive tax behaviour” and a “general secrecy” of tax information from the public.

The proposal at the general meeting will call for the company to publish a tax transparency report based on several internationally recognised principles and standards.

This would require ConocoPhillips to publish its tax policy and submit a country-by-country report detailing its revenue, number of employees and tax payments in each country in which it is represented.

Currently, this information is only shared with tax authorities and not investors or the public.

PenSam stated that the purpose of the proposal is to create transparency around the company's tax practices.

"With the historic tax agreements of recent years, the world's democratic countries have established how important common rules of the game in the field of taxation are for the global economy - and not least to combat companies' use of tax technical feints,” commented PenSam CEO, Torsten Fels.

“PenSam would like to be the banner bearer of that message. With the proposal, we hope to be able to create the necessary openness in the company.”

This is not the first time PenSam has called for openness on tax, after it raised a similar proposal at the Amazon general meeting in spring 2022, although this was rejected.

“Responsible tax today is not only about complying with the letter of the tax legislation, but just as much with the spirit,” Fels continues.

“Across the board, there are still challenges, but we do see a positive development, where more and more multinational companies are becoming open about their tax matters.

“This is not least due to persistent pressure from civil society and investors, and for the same reason PenSam will continue to take active ownership of the companies."

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