G7 plan clampdown on tax evasion and avoidance

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The G7 group of industrialised nations have agreed to take joint action against tax evasion and avoidance.

Chancellor George Osborne said after the talks it is "incredibly important" that companies and individuals pay the tax they owe.

The G7 members, US, Germany, the UK, Japan, Italy, France and Canada, agreed on more policy issues than had been assumed, he said.

In a news conference held jointly with Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King...

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About Nick Huber

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I’m a specialist business journalist and have a particular interest in tax and technology. 


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By E F
14th May 2013 14:14


“It is also discussing international tax rules amid growing concern that multinational companies are pay little or no tax by using legal tax loopholes.”


Surely the key word here is “legal”. If governments draw up laws which have loopholes in them then they can only blame themselves when businesses take advantage of them.

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14th May 2013 14:54

There but for the grace of God ... and all that!

It's easy to criticise ... but drafting legislation that can predict circumstances in future years, and predict how different people will interpret it, is virtually impossible.

It is unrealistic to redraft all laws in such a way ... and even then, after total redrafting, I bet some person would find a way around it (or take some wording out of context). There are many examples on here, where legislation appears perfectly clear to some people, but not to others ..... because it suits their own agenda to view it differently.

Hopefully, GAAR, or more emphasis being placed upon the 'spirit of the law', will prevail. 

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14th May 2013 23:17


....they can do just that. They just need to create an internally consistent system, with a few options for politicians to bribe voters, but refrain from tinkering with the fundamentals. 

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15th May 2013 11:31


that's what they get paid mega bucks for. No excuses Shirley. Pay me megabucks and I (and no doubt many others) will come up with watertight tax laws.

Here's one that will stop much wrangling. Allow people to decide what work vehicle they use with no interference from HMRC.

You see Shirley, much of tax avoidance derives from bad judgements and greed from governments. If you look at it logically there should be no need for tax planning therefore negating tax avoidance. Tax evasion, you really can't do anything about, just hit the evaders where it hurts.

Now has this joint action had the approval of the people with the REAL money, or  is this just a showpiece so that joe public can be hit yet again.

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15th May 2013 14:59

We are in danger sometimes of making assumptions re foreign laws

Stephen Coleclough, new President of CIOT made the point last night at the CTA Address that UK operates on a common law principle, whereas most other European states operate a civil code.

A key difference between these approaches is that in the UK you can do anything you like as long as the law doesn't say that you cannot do it.  In many European states you can only do what is expressly provided for by their laws.


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15th May 2013 16:51

If there is no law against tax avoidance then

we shouldn't be hounding those that make a very nice living out of it.

When people hide money it implies evasion, however it appears that no difference is being made between evasion and avoidance. This is very dodgy ground. Do we really think that "sharing information" is going to make any inroads into large scale evasion? Not on your nelly. There might be a few little fish caught but the big boys have too much money to get caught and if they do they will get away with a pitance.

No it's all for show. In their strive for technological advancement I don't think Governments have come to terms with  how much it can work against them.

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to SteveRA
15th May 2013 17:58

Evasion of taxes or evasion of something else?

johnjenkins wrote:

.... When people hide money it implies evasion....

In my experience the "hiding", or more precisely just keeping things private, has often been to head-off frivolous law suits, to enable a normal life by avoiding disclosure of their true wealth, avoiding blackmail/kidnapping/extortion etc from individuals/criminals and even Governments. The UK is one of the great ASSET havens, having, largely, a rule of law; unlike many other countries.

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16th May 2013 09:58

And now

we have the Amazon saga. Ms. Hodge jumping on the wrong bandwagon, blaming HMRC for inadequate government rules and regs. They will try to lump Amazon (who are clean as you can be) with another large concern that are less scrupulous, and so we have the avoidance, evasion merge, just like the hiding scenario. I remember my mum "hiding" the Golden Syrup because I used to eat it by the spoonful - happy days. I never did find out where she hid it but I did find a deposit box in our cats name many years later.

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