The Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) and the US-based OIP Investment Trust have today filed a shareholder proposal with, Inc, calling on the company to disclose global tax practices and risks to investors.

The proposal calls on the company to implement the new Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Tax Standard, including public country-by-country reporting of financial, tax and worker information.

It is the first resolution of its kind filed in the US, according to Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC), which is supporting the filing of the proposal, as part of a new initiative that is launching today in collaboration with the Centre for International Corporate Tax Accountability and Research (CICTAR).

The initiative will facilitate active engagement with companies in sectors with a history of aggressive tax avoidance, as well as sectors with significant exposure to government contracts and dependent on healthy tax revenue for growth.

Currently, Amazon does not disclose revenues, profits or tax payments in non-US markets, challenging investors’ ability to evaluate the risks to investor companies of taxation reforms, or whether Amazon is engaged in responsible tax practices that ensure long-term value creation.

Amazon’s approach to taxation has been repeatedly challenged by tax authorities globally. Research by the Fair Tax Mark, for instance, found that Amazon had the poorest tax conduct amongst the world’s largest tech companies. Earlier this year, Amazon was singled out by US president Joe Biden as having paid no federal corporate income tax in the US.

PIRC said investors need greater transparency to evaluate the sustainability of Amazon’s growth. “An over reliance on artificial structures to reduce tax obligations in countries around the world creates risks for shareholders and undermines competition for companies that act responsibly,” it added.

Councillor Gerald Cooney, the vice chair of GMPF, said: “The Greater Manchester Pension Fund takes its responsibilities very seriously in looking after the pension promises of more than 370,000 members, and its fiduciary duty in looking after the members’ interests and the assets of the fund to employers and taxpayers, who underwrite pension liabilities.”

the amazon effect index

Amazon’s approach to taxation has been repeatedly challenged by tax authorities globally

He said the pension fund was committed to “using our voice as responsible activist investors to engage companies on their tax planning approach to create long-term value for beneficiaries”.

He added that aggressive corporate tax avoidance can be a source of regulatory, financial and reputation risk to companies and their investors. While it may deliver short-term benefits to shareholders, this can come at a cost to long-term shareholder value and at a cost to public service provision by undermining public finances, and create greater societal inequality.


AkademikerPension, the Danish labour-market pension fund with $23bn (€20.4bn) in total assets, has noted its intention to vote in favour of the shareholder proposal.

In 2020 and 2021, the fund filed shareholder proposals regarding implementation of the GRI Tax Standard with five Danish companies.

Anders Schelde, chief investment officer of AkademikerPension, said: “As long-term investors, we have been engaging companies throughout our portfolio on their tax practices. Investors and other stakeholders increasingly expect leading companies committed to sustainable development and corporate responsibility to lead the way on corporate tax transparency by producing public country-by-country reports on tax.”

According to Katie Hepworth, responsible tax lead at PIRC, globally, there is growing government and investor momentum to reform the global taxation system so that it is fit-for-purpose and will ensure that companies fairly contribute to the revenue of the countries in which they operate and earn profit.

“These developments in global tax reform will increase risks for companies operating at the limits of the law. Investor understanding of a company’s relative risk profile and appetite is hampered by a lack of transparency,” she continued.

“This is why PIRC is calling on companies to adopt the recent GRI tax standard in their reporting, including the provision of country-by-country reporting of taxes and other financial information,” she said.

To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.