Resource

Avoiding Avoidance

December 2012

The UK government is slashing spending on vital public services and welfare, increasing poverty and inequality. At a time when vulnerable people are bearing the brunt of the cuts, the UK government is making it easier for multinational companies to cut their tax bills.

Every year the UK government loses out on £25 billion in revenue to tax avoidance by large companies and rich individuals. These tax dodgers act as giant parasites, sucking profits out and leaving the rest of society paying the price.

David Cameron and George Osborne have been talking tough on tax. But rather than making it harder for companies to avoid tax, this year the government is proposing new changes which would give a green light to companies to avoid paying billions in tax. The government’s plans wouldn’t even stop high profile corporate tax dodgers like Amazon, Google and Starbucks, the Student Loans Company, the BBC, the civil service, Jimmy Carr or Take That.

Our report, Avoiding Avoidance, shows that the government’s plans for new tax rules in the 2013 Budget defines tax avoidance so narrowly that it would widen perceptions of what is acceptable, giving a green light to companies to avoid tax. Instead we are calling for the introduction of a General Anti-Avoidance Principle that could recover £5.5 billion of the tax that is currently avoided each year.

The government has already changed the UK’s tax laws to make it easier for companies to shift profits through tax havens in an enormous tax giveaway to some of the UK’s largest companies. The changes in the Budget in 2012 watered down the UK’s anti-tax haven (or Controlled Foreign Company) rules, so that the UK’s tax rules no longer deter companies from using tax havens. This move alone is set to lose the UK government £1 billion a year, and developing countries £4 billion a year.

The government claims they are making tackling tax avoidance one of their top priorities. Instead they are building a tax system where only the little people pay.

 

 

 

Avoiding Avoidance UPDATE - 21-01-13.pdf

Latest news

War on Want responds to Bangladesh Accord settlement

23 January 2018 - 3:00pm

News broke on Monday that, after a two year arbitration process, unions representing Bangladeshi textile workers reached a $2.3m settlement with a multinational apparel brand over delays to fixing hazards on factory sites. Our Senior International Programmes Officer for Asia and the Pacific, Thulsi Narayanasamy, responds:

Read more

War on Want events for Annual Israeli Apartheid Week 2018

18 January 2018 - 2:00pm

War on Want is proud to be co-sponsoring an exciting array of events for Israeli Apartheid Week across the UK:

Remi Kanazi 2018 UK tour and Sounds of Resistance: Benjamin Zephaniah, Tamer Nafar, Remi Kanazi, DJ Hilwi, and more!

 

Read more

Join the conversation

Young Tunisians know 2011 changed nothing: the revolution goes on. @GhassenBK & War on Want’s Hamza write for… https://t.co/oz2MnG4L7B 3 hours 10 min ago
Away from tourist sites, a new uprising is boiling up. Can an old order mired in #austerity and repression survive… https://t.co/s55HHLYs7a 4 hours 33 min ago
Solidarity with @AmnestyUK for its decision not to host an organisation which actively supports illegal settlements… https://t.co/mtvlBjfkpr 5 hours 50 min ago