Plan to strengthen bank tax code flawed

A plan to name banks that break an agreement with HMRC not to use “aggressive” tax avoidance schemes has received a mixed reaction from across the profession. 

The ICAEW said the plan to strengthen the voluntary agreement was “flawed” and could deter UK investment but one small business group said banks should face the same rules as everyone else.

Unlike tax evasion, tax avoidance is not illegal. But under the 'code of practice for taxation of banks', which was introduced in 2009, banks agree not to engage in tax avoidance.

More than 250 banks have signed up to the code, including the UK’s top 15 banks, according to HMRC. HMRC said that the code is operating well but isn’t open enough.

It’s also concerned that...

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