Oh, this is fantastic!

Posted by Christie Malry on April 25, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Tax Journal reports that the BBC has had to apologise to Sir Philip Green for insinuating that he's a dirty tax avoider:

Today presenter Evan Davis said: ‘We need to clear up something from earlier this week ... We said that Sir Philip Green had cut his tax bill in the UK by hundreds of millions of pounds by transferring ownership of Arcadia ... to his wife. We’re happy to make it clear that Arcadia was bought by Lady Green in 2002, and because she has not lived in the UK for 15 years no tax was due in this country on any dividends that were paid to her. We apologise for suggesting otherwise.’

Now let's hope that Dishface also apologises for his crass contribution to the tax avoidance debate.

Then let's also hope that the BBC corrects Ritchie live on air every time he describes tax-compliant behaviour as tax avoidance.

Tax Journal on "government approved tax avoidance"

Posted by Christie Malry on April 18, 2012 at 8:58 am

A special low rate of UK corporation tax on finance profits from overseas financing within multinational groups will offer a ‘very significant’ benefit to groups setting up a structure that represents, according to a leading tax expert, ‘almost government-approved tax avoidance’.

Although, as you might expect, Ritchie approves heartily, this is just silly.

While, technically, you could have government approved tax avoidance, this ain't it. An example of government approved tax avoidance would be where government instructed HMRC to turn a blind eye to cases of tax avoidance. Imagine the shitstorm that would create in Parliament when it came to light.

What's happening in reality is that the government has proposed changes to the way in which controlled subsidiaries are to be taxed, with a special rate for controlled finance companies. These will be voted on in Parliament. Once passed by Parliament, it's completely idiotic to argue that a company using the structure expressly approved by Parliament is somehow acting against the will of Parliament. So it cannot be tax avoidance, by definition.

Incidentally, George is doing something quite clever. He's trying to hoover up all the finance companies in Europe by taxing them at the cutdown rate. That should see the UK get 5.5% of a much larger pie instead of the standard corporation tax rate on a smaller one. The other European countries should be whining, but no one in the UK should complain. We're bringing economic activity to the UK and taxing it. That's a good news story, no?

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Oi, Ritchie, no!!

Posted by Christie Malry on October 11, 2011 at 9:52 pm

This is why we should keep all stupid lefty charities away from taxation:

Do you see what he's done there? He's taken the daft bit of 'research' that ActionAid produced today and, from that, insinuated that because they have subsidiaries in "tax havens" like the USA, Netherlands and Ireland, they must be avoiding tax. And he's then claiming that that's why 400,000 more children are forecast by the IMF to be in poverty by 2015.

Well, we already demonstrated that the definition of "tax haven" is so jaw-droppingly stupid that it cannot fail to capture all sorts of legitimate corporate behaviour. Indeed, any company that wishes to sell any products in Ireland or the Netherlands from a local subsidiary will be branded as having an investment in a tax haven. Wouldn't we expect every single FTSE-100 company to have ambitions to sell in Ireland and the Netherlands? Ritchie, bless him, claims that it's all the companies' fault for being so secretive about their tax planning.

But note that it's not just me that says this. ActionAid themselves admit that their work doesn't prove tax avoidance.

So Ritchie is taking a flawed bit of research which the authors accept doesn't prove avoidance to conclude that there is avoidance and that this avoidance will force 400,000 children into poverty in the future. There really is no constraint on his idiocy.