Bid to stamp out corporate tax avoidance unites Westminster parties

JP Morgan paid no corporation tax at all in the UK in 2014, it was revealed recently [Image: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images].

The all-party parliamentary group on responsible taxation will bring together senior Labour and Tory parliamentarians determined to keep up pressure on ministers to ensure multinationals and others pay their fair share.

The group will begin work in the new year and be chaired by Labour MP Margaret Hodge, with ex-Tory minister David Davis as a vice-chairman.

In a departure for parliamentarians, it will hold meetings in public and ask ministers, tax experts and business people to attend for questions and debate. The first item on the agenda will be how to respond to G20 recommendations to crack down on corporate tax avoidance.

With evidence growing that the current tax on profits is unfair and too easily avoided, the group wants to debate whether it should be replaced by a new tax on location of activity and sales.

Source: Bid to stamp out corporate tax avoidance unites Westminster parties | Business | The Guardian

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10 thoughts on “Bid to stamp out corporate tax avoidance unites Westminster parties

  1. Dez

    Well this is most welcome. Hopefully they will have carefully picked Group members who are fit for purpose and have no hidden agendas or share scams off shore somewhere. All things being equal then maybe something might come out of this that takes the heat off the rank and file who do not have any scams they can turn to offset the tax on their salaries and pensions. My one fear is this whole thing will take forever to come out with anything thereby giving these companies even more unnecesary tax breathing space to screw some more profits out of the current lacklustre system. Hopefully a time limit will be robustly applied.

  2. jeffrey davies

    i wonder will the talks just carry on just like the great cull of the stock meanwhile the banksters still fraudulent trading while it carrys on

  3. Ros Jackson

    I hope they take enough account of the impact on micro-businesses, so we don’t see a repeat of the problems at the beginning of 2015 with the introduction of new VAT rules for digital goods. That brought huge problems for small sellers, forcing some to give up altogether thanks to the system’s complexity. The campaign group EU VAT Action has documented these difficulties, and their website http://euvataction.org/ is a good resource for anyone wanting to know more, or interested in campaigning for better rules.

    1. Gary Aronsson

      Our system of taxes and company legislation is made deliberately difficult to understand so that it will guarantee that many small companies are driven into the ground.Do not be fooled by the idea that the large companies object to this ,they usually WRITE the very legislation that they then “complain” about! It is by weaving a vast web of legislation that large companies protect themselves from the rise of small companies.Ask yourself how many very large companies in existence now DIDN’T already exist as VERY large companies 50 years ago? For every “Stagecoach” and “Apple Computers” there are dozens of Shell Oils and Lloyd’s Bank’s.The reason why the largest companies all support the EU is that it is keen on wrapping up business with masses of ever increasing legislation,almost always WRITTEN by the very largest companies,and it is THIS that protects them from almost all of the future “Apples and Stagecoaches” who when THEY achieve large scale success SUDDENLY become supporters of the very legislation that once held them back!

  4. Mr.Angry

    And pigs might fly, will believe it when it happens, can’t see it in my lifetime.

    Another waste of time and public money.

  5. Gary Aronsson

    If,and I do mean IF,these people are serious about getting multinational companies to stump up the taxes they owe then they can do this VERY easily.It doesn’t take years of study,government reports and untold millions of public money to arrive at a workable solution,I can tell them how to do it right now!

    The ideal system of taxation needs to meet various criteria.It needs to be simple,cheap to operate,impossible to avoid,easy to understand and easy to vary according to circumstances.So what is the answer?

    Simple! Instead of fixating upon taxing PROFITS,which can be EASILY fiddled or sent abroad we need to tax the companies TURNOVER! If a company has a turnover of BILLIONS but employs top accountants to artificially create a LOSS then they can operate in Britain for years,constantly expand yet never pay a penny in taxes.So why not tax them according to their TURNOVER,regardless of making a loss or a profit?

    And the other plus point about this scheme is that we already use it to tax the ordinary working slob who has to submit to PAYE which is itself a TURNOVER TAX which takes no account of the persons COSTS such as fares to work or childcare.So WHY should companies be treated differently? A simple flat rate tax on company TURNOVER would bring in BILLIONS,be impossible to dodge and cheap to gather in.I am offering odds of 1 billion to 1 that this simple and elegant idea never sees the light of day on the HMRC’s statute book because once it was used it would spread like wildfire around the world and then we would see multinational corporations being properly taxed,and THAT would never do!

    1. Dez

      Nice one Gary……does fit the bill but would certainly need the buy in of multinationals who will certainly not like the idea of being treated the same as the working class. The governments will also miss their much needed generous political contributions ie hush money. Provided they include the infamous covert intercompany royalty payments in the turnover figures then all will be well.

      1. Gary Aronsson

        The real joy of this concept is that NOTHING can be done to reduce the actual TURNOVER of a company,profits,costs losses or transfers do NOTHING to reduce the actual TURNOVER,and it is THIS that you tax!

        No company of s*** hot chartered accountants could do ANYTHING to dodge this tax and it would only take SECONDS to calculate the amount due!!!!! And THAT is why this concept has never been raised as suitable for raising corporation tax,the very shortcomings of the existing system are the very things that will guarantee that it is never seriously challenged,the vast number of holes in the system are NOT there by accident but by design,they allow large companies to pay bugger all ,taxes are for little people to pay!

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