STOP OSBORNE GIVING A GREEN LIGHT TO TAX DODGERS.

20 March 2013

FROM TAX JUSTICE AND WAR ON WANT.

STOP OSBORNE GIVING A GREEN LIGHT TO TAX DODGERS.

In this year’s Budget George Osborne is introducing new tax rules, rules which he claims will clamp down on tax avoidance but our research has shown would give a green light to companies to avoid billions in tax. Rather than tackling tax avoidance the government’s plans stand to make the problem worse.

The government has already been criticised by a House of Lords committee for misleading the public over the impact of the proposed changes – which wouldn’t have any impact on high profile corporate tax dodgers like Starbucks, Amazon or Google.

Tax dodging by multinational companies increases poverty and inequality around the world, cutting funding for vital public services and welfare spending while making the richest richer.

The government’s proposals would only affect the fringes of what is legal, but your MP can take action to challenge the government and call for the proposals to affect all tax avoidance. A rule like this would be a powerful weapon for taking on the giant corporate tax dodgers and could bring in billions of pounds every year in lost revenue.

Take action now: Email your MP asking them to take action to stop corporate tax dodgers.

Dear..........

Please take urgent action now to stop the Finance Bill increasing tax avoidance in the UK.

Every year the UK government loses out on £25 billion in revenue to tax avoidance by large companies and rich individuals. At a time when the most marginalised are being hit by the impacts of severe public spending cuts it is a scandal that big companies and rich individuals are not paying their fair share.

The government's proposals for a 'General Anti-Abuse Rule' (GAAR), included in the 2013 Finance Bill, defines tax avoidance so narrowly that if passed it would widen perceptions of what is acceptable, giving a green light to companies to avoid tax. War on Want's report, Avoiding Avoidance, also shows that the proposed rule would have had little or no impact on recent high profile tax scandals, including those involving Amazon, Google, Starbucks, the Student Loans Company, the BBC, the civil service, Jimmy Carr or Take That.

Please take action as the Finance Bill progresses through parliament to ensure that the new measures go beyond targeting the fringes of what is legal and instead target all tax avoidance. At present the proposed rule would only affect tax arrangements "which cannot reasonably be regarded as a reasonable course of action", based on current established practice, in a clear acceptance of the status quo where billions of pounds of revenue are lost every year. To clamp down on tax avoidance the rule should be made to apply to all tax arrangements which are intended to avoid tax and have no commercial purpose apart from avoiding tax. This change alone would be a huge step forwards to ensuring a fair, equitable and just tax system in the UK.

A more powerful anti-avoidance measure aimed at eliminating tax avoidance in the UK such as this could recover as much as £5.5 billion every year, far in excess of the £40 - £85 million per year the government has estimate the new rule would recover.

Please support amendments to the Finance Bill to ensure the government's proposals for a 'General Anti-Abuse Rule' do not give a green light to tax avoiders, but instead gives a powerful and effective tool to HM Revenue and Customs to tackle corporate tax avoidance in the UK.

Yours sincerely

A more powerful anti-avoidance measure aimed at eliminating tax avoidance in the UK such as this could recover as much as £5.5 billion every year, far in excess of the £40 - £85 million per year the government has estimate the new rule would recover.

Please support amendments to the Finance Bill to ensure the government's proposals for a 'General Anti-Abuse Rule' do not give a green light to tax avoiders, but instead gives a powerful and effective tool to HM Revenue and Customs to tackle corporate tax avoidance in the UK.

Yours sincerely


LATEST NEWS