Big Five and Taxes in Canada

The following public information is available on the websites of the Big Five in Canada. 
I would like to note that the banks are not in fact, at the time of this writing, breaking any laws and while it may be easy to blame the banks for their unethical behavior the fault does not lie entirely on them. The laws in Canada allow for tax avoidance through the use of tax havens. People should try to remember that the board of directors and anyone in charge of making decisions including the shareholders are simply people with their own interests in mind. While this behavior is unethical as it further increases wealth inequality in our country, the problem begins with ignorance and apathy on behalf of the general voting population.
The Mouvement d’éducation et de défense des actionnaires (MÉDAC) of 82 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC H2X 1X3 have submitted shareholder proposals to the big five, among those proposals were to pay the fair share of taxes instead of having them stored in off shore tax havens. Below are the voting results of each bank which can be viewed from the 2014 voting results of the shareholder meetings.


Royal Bank of Canada's Notice of Annual Meeting of Common Shareholders and Management Proxy Circular - dated February 26, 2014
Under Schedule 'A' Shareholder Proposals:
Proposal No. 2: Paying its fair share of taxes
It is proposed that the Bank disclose, at the next annual meeting, the action that it intends to take in order to conform to the plan introduced by the OECD on July 20, 2013 relating to multinationals' non-payment of their fair share of taxes.
RBC's board of directors recommends voting against the proposal with the argument that as the OECD's proposed actions are detailed and enacted into law RBC will continue, on an ongoing basis, to ensure their compliance.
As for the voting results of 2014, they could not be found any where on their site.

The Toronto-Dominion Bank's Notice of Annual Meeting of Common Shareholders and Management Proxy Circular - dated April 3, 2014
Under Schedule 'A' Shareholder Proposals: Proposal B - Paying its fair share of taxes
TD at the very least gives a more honest answer than RBC:
"To the extent the OECD does ultimately provide international guidance at the conclusion of the Action Plan process and that guidance is adopted into the legislation and regulations of the jurisdictions in which the bank operates, we will comply with those laws and regulations. However, since the OECD is not anticipated to issue final recommendations for at least the next year, we
believe it is premature to engage in a process to assess whether any actions need to be taken in response to the action plan and, therefore, do not believe it is practicable for the audit committee to prepare and table the report proposed in this proposal or that a report which would be useful to shareholders can be prepared at this time."

http://goo.gl/uq0XHG - Bank of Nova Scotia

No comments:

Post a Comment