16/07/2014

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BEPS: Priorities and concerns

The G20/OECD project on measures to tackle base erosion and profit-shifting (BEPS) appears to be on track despite a very ambitious timetable. But the project is still in its early stages, and there are signs that expectations may be running a little too high. Read more at Tax Journal (subscription required).

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14/07/2014

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Tax transparency, public understanding and a shared purpose

The role of greater transparency in improving public understanding of tax issues and enhancing confidence in the system was the subject of an informative and good-natured debate at the House of Commons on 8 July, hosted by Mazars and the Association of Revenue and Customs and chaired by Margaret Hodge MP, chair of the Commons Public […]

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18/06/2014

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The state of the tax debate (2): The importance of constructive dialogue

This is the second of two extracts from my talk on “BEPS day”, part of the Summer Tax Programme at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London on Monday, 16 June. The wider tax debate continues, and like a lot of political debate, the tax debate is highly polarised. Terminology is […]

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18/06/2014

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The state of the tax debate (1): The BEPS project

This is the first of two extracts from my talk on “BEPS day”, part of the Summer Tax Programme at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London on 16 June. I’m going to talk about the state of the debate around BEPS and tax avoidance, and the role played by the […]

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09/06/2014

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A consultation: What is your company’s tax policy?

The tone of corporate tax policies has changed “to reflect the hostile climate to avoidance”, according to research conducted by the Financial Times. This morning the paper noted that a number of the companies with the biggest public sector contracts said they aimed to be viewed as “low risk”, saying that as government suppliers they […]

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20/05/2014

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Tax evasion and ‘shadow companies’

Richard Murphy’s latest report on the UK’s tax gap has been criticised by HMRC for its “highly inappropriate” methodology, the Financial Times has reported today under the headline “Evasion and hidden economy leave £40bn a year tax gap, says campaigner”. The report, running to 80 pages, has also been criticised by some tax professionals and […]

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07/05/2014

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Ups and downs: The annual investment allowance (Taxation)

The annual investment allowance was established to allow businesses to claim a 100% upfront allowance for capital expenditure incurred on most items of plant and machinery. Since its introduction in 2008, it has been subject to various changes. Most recently, Finance Bill 2014, clause 10 and Sch 2 increased the maximum allowance to £500,000 from April […]

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07/05/2014

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Tax and development aid: Would you commit 0.7% of your tax expertise?

The OECD hosted a discussion on tax and development on 5 May, with contributions from business, government and NGOs. You can watch the broadcast here and I’ve Storified a few of the key points (I didn’t manage to see the whole thing). There was an interesting exchange between Zeinab Badawi and Alan McLean, who is […]

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24/04/2014

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Is PwC’s survey a turning point in the tax transparency debate?

Reuters reported yesterday that a survey conducted by PwC showed that “most chief executives globally would support the publication of country-by-country financial information to help stamp out corporate tax avoidance”. If this finding is a fair reflection of opinion among CEOs, it marks a turning point in the tax transparency debate. (I should add that […]

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23/04/2014

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‘Fair to middling’: My report on the Fair Tax Mark debate (Taxation)

Richard Murphy is hoping to release a draft “international version” of the Fair Tax Mark (FTM) for discussion by June, he told Taxation at the end of an informative and constructive debate hosted at the London office of Mazars, the international accountancy firm. Murphy revealed that some FTSE 100 companies had enquired about applying for […]

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11/04/2014

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The PAC and the merits of tax reliefs (Accountancy Age)

On Monday the Commons public accounts committee began its inquiry into “the variety of tax reliefs used in the UK and how they are administered” by questioning HMRC chief executive Lin Homer and Sir Nicholas Macpherson, permanent secretary at the Treasury. The committee says on the Parliament website that it does not consider the formulation […]

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09/04/2014

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Tax-free childcare: the basics (Taxation)

MPs debated childcare provision last night. A new clause to the Finance Bill, tabled by Labour, would have required the government to review before April 2015 “ways in which changes to the tax and childcare systems could be used to increase the affordability of childcare”. The clause was defeated but what I saw of the debate […]

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