Category Archives: Avoidance

Should Jacob Rees-Mogg be investigated by his own governmental fraud squad?

Rees-Mogg: he’s a cartoon character carrying out a cartoon job – nobody who has taken big money from the Tory government will be prosecuted, because they ARE Tories.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has launched a new organisation to investigate fraud that takes public money away from the UK government:

Never mind Covid-19 – should that “missing taxpayers’* cash” not include the kind of money that certain businesspeople have avoided paying as tax? Businesspeople like… Jacob Rees-Mogg, for example?

Sadly, the Rees-Moggs of this world never seem to have their collars felt.

*Taxpayers’ money doesn’t actually exist. Governments create the money they pump into the economy; they take money from taxpayers to prevent the system falling into an inflationary spiral due to too much cash remaining in the system.

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Is Labour really planning to scrap – or protect – non-dom tax status?

Is Labour’s plan for a short-term replacement for non-dom tax status just a way of dressing up protection for the earnings of rich foreigners earning money in the UK?

When the party was mooted to be considering changes, This Writer’s understanding was that non-doms would be protected so the party could seek donations from grateful beneficiaries.

Now, following the scandal of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, who was avoiding huge tax bills by claiming non-dom status, Labour is saying it will abolish the status and replace it with a shorter-term scheme for temporary residents, lasting up to five years.

The party is claiming that this is in line with similar schemes in other countries.

But here’s a question: what happens, under Labour’s plan, when the five-year period is up? Could the person claiming the tax perk not take a break from the UK and then come back and claim it again – or find some other dodge?

If Labour is serious about this – and it should be welcomed if so – then let’s be sure that it actually does what the party says it does.

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Sunak’s non-dom wife to pay UK tax on overseas income after being dragged to it

Rishi Sunak: I use this image a lot because I think it looks like his “nervous” face. Trouble is, it might also be his “angry” face. 

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s non-domiciled wife Akshata Murthy has agreed to pay tax in the UK on her overseas income after he came under fire for it.

Her decision to change her tax arrangements follows accusations of hypocrisy against the chancellor, with opposition parties saying Mr Sunak’s family is benefiting at a time when the cost of living is going up.

The BBC estimates Ms Murty would have avoided £2.1m a year in UK tax through her non-dom status.

Ms Murty said her tax arrangements had been “entirely legal”, but added: “It has become clear that many do not feel it is compatible with my husband’s role as chancellor.

“I understand and appreciate the British sense of fairness and I do not wish my tax status to be a distraction for my husband or to affect my family,” she said.

It’s the right choice – but This Writer can’t help thinking it’s for the wrong reason.

As the wife of the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Ms Murthy was rightly expected by the people of the UK to accept the same tax conditions as were being forced on us by her husband,

But it never occurred to her to do that. She had to be dragged to it.

This happens with politicians – and I’m not going to blame just the Tories for it – and those connected to them, all the time.

She was happy to take dividends from one of her companies based in Russia, while the rest of us were sanctioning that country and its businesses – until she was found out.

She was happy to avoid UK tax by claiming non-dom status – until she was found out.

And it does reflect poorly on Sunak himself; he must have known that it was not a reputable way to behave but he allowed it to happen all the same.

And then he tried to brazen it out by claiming he was being discredited by proxy and that his wife was being used to attack him.

He knew that his job made it wrong. If he didn’t, he should not be in that job – or in Parliament.

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Nobody needs a plan to discredit Rishi Sunak – they only have to quote his record

Campaign to discredit: is Kwasi Kwarteng trying to destroy Rishi Sunak? Or does the Chancellor deserve all the criticism he receives after raising our taxes but (allegedly) avoiding paying his own while his wife did the same?

Rishi Sunak is trying to curry sympathy from the public by pretending that somebody has launched a campaign to discredit him by linking him with the way his wife avoids paying UK tax.

He is – as in so many of his political choices – completely wrong.

Nobody needs to use his wife to discredit Sunak – they only need to look at his own decisions:

  1. He vetoed a plan to save the poorest families from soaring energy bills, according to a government leak.

Three options were put forward: increasing the £200 loan payment for all households (to be paid in the autumn) to “£500 or more”, either for all households or for the poorest; delaying repayment of the £200, which the Treasury is saying must be repaid at the rate of £40 a year over the following five years; or exempting the poorest homes from the need to repay at all, turning the loan into a grant.

Sunak apparently refused to consider any of these options, which are said to have come from Kwasi Kwarteng’s Business, Innovation and Skills Department. If he really does think fellow members of the government are briefing the press against him, then Kwarteng seems a likely candidate for suspicion.

2. He blocked plans to reduce millions of energy bills by making homes more energy efficient, according to another government leak.

It seems both Downing Street and Kwarteng’s team were hoping for an expansion of the Energy Company Obligation (Eco) scheme to be included in this week’s energy security strategy, with £200 million extra per year meaning the scheme could be expanded beyond only those receiving benefits to thousands more people.

Sunak apparently rejected the ideas because he is sticking to pledges he made in autumn 2021 – even though inflation means his tax take is around two-and-a-half times what he expected to make from those proposals and he is entirely capable of doing as suggested.

3. He has benefited from his non-dom wife’s ability to avoid paying UK tax while increasing the tax burden on the rest of us to its highest level since World War 2.

As Akshata Murthy’s husband, Sunak shares his household with her and must, therefore, enjoy some of the benefits of her income. As a non-dom living in the UK, she has been able to avoid paying an estimated £2.1 million per year.

Sunak himself is said to have held a US Green Card, which allows people to live and work permanently in the United States but demands that he pay US tax on his worldwide income, until October last year – long after he became Chancellor in 2020 – meaning he may have avoided paying UK tax for the more-than-four years between that date and his joining the government in 2017.

Meanwhile, by freezing the thresholds at which people move into different tax bands, Sunak has ensured that more people are paying Income Tax at higher rates; he has also introduced a 10 per cent increase in National Insurance payments. The tax burden on UK citizens who have no choice other than to pay up is now at its highest level since the mid-1940s.

It’s a filthy record; it reads more like a charge sheet than a history of achievements.

But Rishi Rich still wants you to believe he and his wife are being smeared by malicious colleagues.

Isn’t it more accurate to say that the skeletons in his closet are coming to light at last?

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Why is Rishi Sunak’s wife allowed to avoid tax by claiming non-dom status?

Slimy: Sunak.

Insult upon injury: remember the indirect income Rishi Sunak was getting via his wife’s interest in a company connected to Russia? It seems she wasn’t even paying tax on it!

So Sunak has saved millions of pounds from his own family’s tax bill while piling massive tax hikes on the hard-working people of the UK.

What a shocking betrayal of his duties as Chancellor.

Here are the facts as they are understood at the time of writing:

Rishi Sunak’s millionaire wife has claimed non-domicile status in order to save on her tax bill while her husband was chancellor.

Akshata Murthy, whose family business is estimated to be worth around £3.5bn, has continued to use the valuable tax status even after Mr Sunak was put in charge of setting taxes for the country in February 2020, according to two people familiar with her financial arrangements.

So-called ‘non-dom’ status is entirely lawful and can save an individual from paying UK tax on income from dividends from foreign investments, rental payments on property overseas or bank interest. The status also means that you avoid UK inheritance tax.

The decision to pay less tax through non-dom status is optional.

It is not known exactly how much has been saved by Ms Murthy but sources told The Independent it could have saved her millions of pounds in tax on foreign earnings over several years.

In a statement issued after publication, a spokesperson for Ms Murthy claimed that she had to use non-dom status because of her Indian citizenship.

The spokesperson said: “Akshata Murty is a citizen of India, the country of her birth and parent’s home.

“India does not allow its citizens to hold the citizenship of another country simultaneously. So, according to British law, Ms Murty is treated as non-domiciled for UK tax purposes. She has always and will continue to pay UK taxes on all her UK income.”

Doesn’t look good, does it?

The Independent article provides an analysis of what Ms Murthy could have saved, in comparison with what a UK citizen would have paid, on her Infosys income:

Dividends from Infosys calculated from Ms Murthy’s stake in the company, of 0.93 per cent – worth approximately £725 million based on recent market valuations – suggest the payments could have totalled around £11.6 million in the past year.

As a non-dom, Ms Murthy would not have had to pay tax on these dividend payments in the UK. That compares to an ordinary UK resident, who, paying tax on dividends at the so-called ‘additional rate’ (for all dividend payments over the personal allowance) would have to pay tax of 38.1 per cent on the payouts.

The special status could therefore have saved her a bill of around £4.4m in tax, although she may have incurred tax liabilities overseas.

There you have it.

Sunak seems to have enjoyed huge – indirect – tax breaks through his wife while inflicting the highest tax burden in more than 70 years on the rest of us.

If she’s only allowed to be Indian, is it time Ms Murthy slunk back there, taking her slimy husband with her?

Source: Revealed: Rishi Sunak’s millionaire wife avoids tax through non-dom status | The Independent

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#CPC21 : Sunak’s speech endorses – and offers to reward – tax avoidance by billionaire Tory donors


Let us be clear about this.

On the day most of us learned that billionaire Conservative donors have been squirrelling away trillions of pounds in tax havens rather than paying their fair share…

… Conservative Chancellor Rishi Sunak has apologetically told them he cannot cut taxes for rich people like them…

… until poor people like This Writer (and, no doubt, yourself) have paid off the costs racked up by his government in coping with Covid-19…

… nonexistent costs, let’s not forget (the money was created by the government, not borrowed)…

… most of which went to Conservative donors who, after avoiding the tendering process by using a fast-track system for friends of the Tories, then provided absolutely nothing in return.

So, after the billionaires have kept public tax money for themselves and taken public cash under false pretences, they now say they’re paying too much tax and want the poor to cover any costs they have incurred. And Sunak is apologising to them for not doing this.

This looks like misappropriation of funds on a global scale.

And Sunak’s offer to cut taxes after the nonexistent bill is paid makes no sense at all, for an obvious reason:

Sunak and his forerunners should have closed all tax avoidance loopholes in the 11 years since they have been in office but they haven’t. Is that because they have benefited from millions of pounds in donations from the people we now see have avoided paying trillions of pounds in tax?

That looks like a “yes” to This Writer!

He tried to cover it up by focusing on Brexit, saying that we’ll see the mythical benefits of leaving the European Union in the long term.

I think we all know what Brexit was really about – don’t we?

Weirdly, the same Chancellor who has immorally handed billions to Tory donors via failed Covid schemes, and trillions to them by allowing tax avoidance, thinks such actions are perfectly reasonable.

To him, it would be immoral to take cash from them – that they want to lend – in order to fund, say, an anti-poverty strategy:

No – he thinks poorly-paid workers should simply get better jobs, as though that is the easiest thing in the world. Clearly he has never had to try to do it himself. And he conveniently forgets an enormous hole in his own logic:

Oh but – he said – the UK economy is recovering faster than anywhere else in the world!

But there’s a reason for that, isn’t there?

Sunak’s speech was not that of a man putting forward a sensible policy – because it isn’t sensible.

So what was he doing? I think Clare Hepworth has it right:

Sunak wasn’t discussing serious plans to deal with current economic issues – he was auditioning to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister.

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Sunak’s call for City of London tax exemption proves Tories can’t abide by a deal

Rishi Sunak: after his boss Boris Johnson tried to backpedal on the Brexit trade deal, he’s trying to get out of the G7 tax deal. Pretty soon, nobody will want to deal with these Tories at all.

This is the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit trade deal all over again.

Boris Johnson merrily signed up to that without reading it because he wanted the UK out of the European Union by January 1 this year.

Now Rishi Sunak is trying to back the City of London out of a historic global tax change agreed by G7 finance ministers last weekend.

The aim is to ensure that the world’s top 100 businesses pay an appropriate amount of tax in the country where they base their operations, rather than moving their profits around to countries where they can pay the least.

Having agreed to it, Sunak is now trying to get an exemption – but only for the City of London, the super-rich business hub that has recently been losing business to Amsterdam because of – guess what? – Brexit.

He claims that he doesn’t want the UK’s banks to end up paying a grossly higher rate – but research suggests that this will not happen.

So the question arises: why does he really want an exemption? Is it to get all these juicy fat companies to pay their taxes in the UK, even if the amount is minimal?

And, topically:

Doesn’t this prove what we all believed after the Tories tried to back out of the Northern Ireland protocol – that they can’t be trusted to honour any deal so, fairly soon, nobody will want to deal with them?

Source: UK pushes for City of London to be exempt from G7 tax plan | G7 | The Guardian

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Are the Tories trying to stop poor people having a say in public services because they stopped the low-paid from paying tax?

Some of us saw this coming.

If you’ve seen the video clip in which Richard Murphy explains how money works, you’ll know that people who pay tax are more likely to vote – they feel they have more of an interest in it.

(Of course, tax is about returning money the government has created, in order to avoid catastrophic inflation – and not about giving the government the money it needs in order to provide public services, but let’s not complicate matters by going into that.)

But the Tories have spent the last 11 years raising the earnings threshold at which people pay tax, claiming this as a sign of their generosity.

Oh really? Watch the video and consider the comment by Paul Sweeney.

It seems to This Writer that, through no fault of their own, attempts are being made to deny more than 20 million people the right to say which services the government funds. Presumably the next step is to say, if you don’t pay tax, you don’t get to vote.

We’re on a very slippery slope, here.

And a hypocritical one.

You’ll notice that nobody is saying you shouldn’t have a say if you don’t pay all the tax for which you should be liable – for example, because you engage in tax avoidance.

So super-rich tax avoiders will be able to vote/help decide which public services are funded or whether they get funded at all – despite the fact that most of them don’t need the most expensive of those services. Logically, they’ll say those are the ones to get the axe.

Meanwhile, the super-poor – who are now prevented from paying tax, either because they are on benefits or their wages have been pushed into the dirt by Tory employers – may be denied that right.

It should not even be a subject for discussion.

The qualification for voting – and therefore for helping decide how public money is spent – is UK citizenship because we all live here and we are all affected by the decisions the government makes.

Oh, and of course Income Tax is not the only tax that people pay.

So to rule people out of the process because they have been priced out of paying just one of the UK’s many taxes would be unfair in the extreme – and Emma Barnett was talking out of her rear end.

What a shame that’s such a good description of our current Tory government.

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Are we letting Dominic Cummings off, now we have other things to entertain us?

Dominic Cummings in the Rose Garden: his attitude was “I can do whatever I like”.

Whatever happened to Dominic Cummings?

Did he quit his job as a prime ministerial advisor, ahead of being sacked? Did he apologise to the nation?

No.

Boris Johnson told us he was on his “last warning”, as if that means anything to us.

His arrogance has been unforgivable. His “last warning” should have been before the lockdown was imposed in Mid-March – not after he broke it in everybody’s face.

Nobody believed it anyway. When Boris Johnson failed spectacularly during Prime Minister’s Questions this week, we all thought he was wearing an earpiece so Demonic could Dominate him from a backroom.

There has been one dead cat after another. Today’s was the revival of a plan to build a new Royal Yacht, to cost the people of the UK £100 million that would be better-spent rebuilding the fabric of our ruined society after 41 years of neoliberal conservative rule and the Covid-19 pandemic.

So this question is pertinent:

Also, if Cummings was on his “last warning” earlier this week, shouldn’t he be out on his ear after this revelation?

Apparently…

Dominic Cummimgs; a Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, made it clear that he had stayed at a “spare cottage” at his father’s farm when he addressed allegations that he had broken lockdown restrictions in April.

The cottage in question is not registered for Council Tax, nor has planning permission been sought for the cottage from Durham County Council.

So he broke lockdown and social distancing rules in order to stay in a house that is a standing violation of planning laws, where Council Tax is avoided. Am I correct in that assumption?

And still this creepy little rule-flouter is drawing fat amounts of cash from the public purse.

Why?

Simon Wren-Lewis makes some good suggestions on Mainly Macro. He writes:

The old rules, like when an adviser becomes the story they go, just do not hold anymore, because this government has no respect for those rules.

Cummings is so valuable… He gaslighted half a nation into making them[selves] poorer because of an issue few of them had cared about before the referendum. To then convince enough people that Johnson accepting a deal which the EU originally proposed and the UK rejected was some kind of triumph was also impressive. Winning a large majority in the subsequent election sealed his reputation as a master manipulator of voters, although it has to be said that with all these things he had tremendous help from the collective media.

He wants a say in everything any minister does that might influence his mission… [and Boris Johnson] is happy to allow his partner in crime to pursue his own agenda, because Johnson does not have an extensive agenda of his own.

The ultimate in Cummings gaslighting was his appearance in the Rose Garden of No.10. As Frances Coppola writes, it was a gigantic show, a show of personal power. Look what I can do, he was saying. I can lie about why I went to Barnard Castle, I can lie about how I foresaw how vulnerable the UK was to a pandemic, and there is nothing you can do about it, much like all the previous lies I have made in the past and got others to say.

Yup. This Site drew attention to this lie but hardly anybody paid attention.

And later, when a BBC presenter tells the truth about what he did, his helpers get the BBC to give her a reprimand.

Again, I highlighted the injustice of this, to a chorus of tumbleweeds.

It is not as if Cummings necessarily improves Johnson’s decision making capacity. What Johnson desperately needs is someone with a proven record of gaslighting a nation to get voters to forget about it all as quickly as possible. For that reason Cummings survives, for now at least.

So there you have it.

Dominic Cummings will remain at Downing Street as long as he manages to do what Boris Johnson cannot, which is to make Boris Johnson look acceptable.

He has enjoyed the complicity of the right-wing media in this.

But the press pack has shown signs of turning lately. With Keir Starmer dragging Labour back across to the political right-wing, they have a new horse to back while still supporting the idea that rich people should be allowed to do what they want, especially if it humiliates the poor.

Maybe Demonic’s days are numbered after all. But don’t get your hopes up because even if that does happen, you won’t reap the benefits.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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As corporations send billions to tax havens, who do you think will pay for Covid-19?

Rishi Sunak: it seems he expects the poor to pay for coronavirus while the rich send billions of pounds to tax havens.

The Conservative government has allowed the super-rich to squirrel billions of pounds away in tax havens, while whining that the UK will have to tighten its national belt if it is to pay for the coronavirus crisis.

Legislation from 2016 that was intended to stop £2.5 billion in taxation from being lost to tax havens is being deliberately ignored by the Tories, according to the Tax Justice Network.

This is cash that could be used to help pay for the cost of coping with Covid-19, but instead it seems the Tories want working people and the very poor to pay for it.

Who is better-equipped? The idle rich who won’t do anything with the money apart from keep it away from the national purse? Or the vulnerable poor who will be trodden into the dirt by the deprivation of even more of their vital income?

According to the Tax Justice Network:

The UK missed out on collecting £2.5 billion a year in corporate tax from multinational corporations due to the UK government failing to exercise a 2016 tax transparency law designed to prevent billions in corporate tax abuse.

Asked whether Chancellor Rishi Sunak plans to exercise powers under the Finance Act 2016 to make multinationals’ country by country reporting data public, the UK Treasury confirmed to Parliament this week that is has reversed its 2016 commitment to publishing the data at a national level, and is blocking the OECD from publishing the data at an international level.

Had the UK government exercised the powers afforded to it by the Finance Act 2016 to publish corporations’ country by country reporting data, the UK could have prevented at least £10 billion in corporate tax from being lost to tax havens since 2016, which could for example have offset the £6.6 billion the NHS is expected to receive in Covid-19 funding, and provided for additional investment in crucial equipment.

Source: UK u-turns on commitment to tax transparency, giving up £10 billion in corporate tax

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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