A deal designed to make it harder for multinational companies to use complicated tax arrangements to avoid paying corporation tax has been signed by 31 OECD countries, including the UK.
The deal focuses on cooperation between the 31 nations, rather than new tax laws. The countries' tax offices will share information with one another, with a view to forcing companies to pay corporation tax in the country they earn profits.
There has been widespread public anger over the number of multinationals - like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Starbucks - avoiding corporation tax by using tax havens. The deal follows HMRC's £130 million settlement with Google. While the government played it off as a victory to have secured any corporation tax from Google, critics have clammed the agreement given it equates to just a 3% corporation tax on the several billions it has earned in profits since 2005.
The deal will have "an immediate impact in boosting international co-operation on tax issues, by enhancing the transparency of multinational enterprises' operations", said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
While some companies try to play countries' tax offices against each other, the new deal means any nation signed up to it will be able to see how much profit a business has made in another of the countries, and how much tax it has paid there.