Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Tax avoidance and evasion

Brilliant cartoon by Steve Bell

".. But fairness cuts both ways. Today's report on the tax leniency shown by the Revenue towards big corporations indicates that toughness towards the poor is not replicated by toughness towards the rich. The estimate was of some £25bn in taxes gone missing, the bulk of it concealed by an insistence on "commercial confidentiality", otherwise known as incompetent secrecy.

Goldman Sachs appeared to have paid £20m less than it should on bonuses alone, and was excused with a £10m payment ex gratia and a "handshake" with the boss of the Revenue. Vodaphone paid just £1.25bn towards a tax bill that should have been some £6bn. The reasonable assumption is that these cases were tips of an iceberg. Meanwhile the relevant inspectors were being wined, dined and offered jobs by the grandees of the accountancy firms overseeing the scams..."

See Simon Jenkins

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