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Amazon shareholders call for tax transparency

Washington, Mar. 6 (BNA): Twenty-four Amazon investors are calling on the tech giant to increase transparency in tax disclosures and adopt a new reporting standard, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

The investors are trying to get a shareholder resolution demanding a new tax reporting standard at the company’s annual meeting this year, FT said, citing a letter that will be sent to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week, Reuters reported.

“Aggressive tax practices can expose a company and its investors to increased scrutiny from tax authorities, adjustment risks, and increase their vulnerability to changes in tax rules as countries look to protect their tax bases from deleterious practices,” investors said in the letter seen by FT.

The investors, who include asset managers Nordea, Royal London, and several large European and U.S. pension funds, will require Amazon to issue a transparency report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) tax standard, according to the newspaper.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The letter was signed by more than 100 groups, including the New York City Office of the Comptroller and the UK’s largest private pension fund, Universities Superannuation Scheme, the FT report said.

In December, Greater Manchester Pension Fund and Oblate International Pastoral Investment Trust also filed a shareholder proposal urging Amazon to implement the new GRI Tax Standard, including public country-by-country reporting of financial, tax, and worker information.

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