Posted by Christie Malry on May 24, 2012 at 7:38 am
And this is juicy (emphasis added):
At a time when demonstrators with the UK Uncut movement are protesting about the ability of large corporations and rich individuals to avoid big tax bills, there is a dissonance in the heavy-handed tactics being used against those accused of wrongly claiming relatively small amounts. Vodafone, for example, has been accused of pressuring HM Revenue & Customs into accepting a potential tax liability reduced by £6bn; both Vodafone and HMRC deny the charge, but there is a feeling that some instances of tax avoidance are treated with more leniency than others.
This is just pure gibberish. Tax avoidance is legal, so - quite simply - there is no liability in a tax avoidance situation. The entire UKuncut campaign is all to do with highlighting this sort of tax avoidance, where companies have legally and legitimately minimised their tax bills but, had they structured things differently, would have paid more tax.
The Vodafone case was all to do with whether UK law on controlled foreign companies (CFCs) is inconsistent with European law. It didn't look too good for the UK, I'm afraid, and the UK is subsequently changing its law on CFCs. So, had Vodafone appealed the case all the way, it could well have won, opening the floodgates for billions of pounds of copycat claims from other companies. To portray Vodafone insisting on being treated in accordance with the law as "pressuring HMRC" is totally idiotic.