Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

OECD to End Bribery Break

PARIS -- Intent on discouraging companies from bribing their way through foreign red tape, the world's richest nations have agreed to end tax breaks for the practice.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development called Thursday on its 26 member countries to fight the corruption by repealing tax deductions for under-the-table payoffs.

Bribing government officials to get approval for a project or speed things up is commonplace in much of the world. Some companies hire middlemen, and euphemisms are used on tax returns to disguise the practice.

But the OECD, led by the United States where bribes are forbidden, has crusaded against it on ethical grounds.

The payment of bribes in international business deals "raises serious moral and political concerns," the OECD said in a statement.

Roughly half of the 26 countries, including most European nations, permit the tax deductions.