Tax avoidance

  1. Microsoft backs agreement on taxing big tech

    Microsoft sign

    Microsoft President Brad Smith has told the BBC that the company would welcome a global agreement on taxing big tech companies.

    Speaking on Talking Business with Aaron Heslehurst on BBC World News. Brad Smith said: “I think it makes sense for big tech companies to pay appropriate taxes wherever we do business.

    "The key is it to do it on a more global basis, to advance discussions in the OECD. It’s good news if France and the United States have come together. That’s going to be good news for everybody.”

    Asked if the big tech firms should work together he said: “We should work together, We should speak up on a lot of issues. The question is always where do we find common ground?

    "You can see the tech sector finding some common ground around a more global or at least international approach.”

    France agrees to delay tax on tech giants

  2. Chancellor urged to suspend 'devastating' Loan Charge deadline

    Tax return

    The Loan Charge Action Group has written to Chancellor Sajid Javid to plea for the immediate publication of a Loan Charge Review report and for the suspension of the January payment deadline to be suspended.

    The Loan Charge is a government measure aimed at tackling a type of employment tax avoidance they call "disguised remuneration", but the fact it's been charged retrospectively has devastated the lives of many.

    The Action Group wrote: "We have severe concerns for our members and others facing the Loan Charge and who have pinned their hopes for their future on the outcome of this report. It would be grossly irresponsible not to suspend the Loan Charge deadline of 31st January 2020."

    The Loan Charge Review was headed by Sir Amyas Morse who has told the Group the report has not yet been shared with the Chancellor or the Treasury.

    The Action Group pleaded with Javid: "your response must not be dictated by Treasury or HMRC civil servants who are conflicted on this matter. You must take the time you need to personally understand the findings and recommendations."

  3. EU set to remove Switzerland and UAE from tax haven blacklist

    Briefcase full of dollars

    European Union finance ministers are set to remove Switzerland and United Arab Emirates (UAE) from the bloc's lists of countries deemed to act as tax havens, Reuters reports.

    They are expected to drop UAE from the blacklist on 10 October, which includes jurisdictions that have failed to cooperate with the EU on tax matters.

    The Pacific archipelago of the Marshall Islands will also be removed from the list.

    Switzerland will be removed from a grey list that includes countries that have committed to change their tax rules to make them compliant with EU standards.

  4. Online traders rush to register for VAT

    Graph showing online traders registering for VAT

    Some 38,000 traders on online retail platforms like eBay and Amazon have registered with HMRC to pay VAT for the first time in the past year, reckons accountants BDO.

    That's up 31% from 29,000 a year ago the firm says.

    It follows HMRC's targeting of suspected VAT evaders which has led to thousands of sellers being removed from eBay and Amazon in the past year.

    HMRC reported in January 2019 that it had ‘red flagged’ 4,600 businesses, mostly in China, for failing to pay VAT on online sales in the UK.

  5. Former Jersey finance worker 'spied for French MI6'

    BBC Radio Jersey

    St Helier

    An-ex finance worker in Jersey has claimed in a book he was a secret agent for the French equivalent of MI6.

    The former fund administrator wrote that he volunteered as a spy to expose a rogue world - with systems set up to escape tax - which he described as like Russian dolls.

    Maxime Renahy, 40, worked for Mourant International Finance Administration in Jersey for three years from 2007. State Street bank later bought the company.

    The States of Jersey said it would not comment on the book's "unverified claims".

  6. Row grows over 'loan charge' suicide


    The UK tax authority has reported the suicide of an individual facing a new "loan charge" to its complaints body for the first time, The FT reports today.

    HMRC reported the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which investigates serious complaints involving the tax body.

    From Friday at least 50,000 people who avoided NI and income tax by using schemes that paid them mostly in loans - described as "disguised remuneration" by HMRC - face the loan charge.

    Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, told the paper, that he was "deeply upset and disturbed" by the death reported.

    But he dismissed claims the charge was unfair or would lead to bankruptcies.

  7. Video content

    Video caption: BBC catches rogue traders selling black-market receipts

    Traders filmed in a BBC investigation admitted selling up to £20,000 of receipts that could be used to cheat UK taxes.