Tax Avoidance

UK Budget 2017: Tech giants targeted over royalties

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Source: 23 November 2017

The UK government is taking steps to increase the tax it collects from firms doing business online. Rules to prevent online sellers avoiding VAT have also been tightened.

From April 2019, technology groups such as Google and Apple will pay a new withholding tax on the royalty payments they make to their subsidiaries in low-tax jurisdictions.

HMRC will also hold online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon responsible if sellers using their platforms fail to pay Value Added Tax on their sales.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said: “Multinational digital businesses pay billions of pounds in royalties to jurisdictions where they are not taxed and some of those relate to UK sales.

“This does not solve the problem, but it does send a signal of our determination and we will continue work in the international arena to find a sustainable and fair long-term solution.”

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£Billion win for UK taxpayers

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Source: HMRC Press Release 15 November 2017

HMRC had already defeated the partnerships’ excessive claims to loss relief from investing in films and the Supreme Court has today (15 Nov 2017) agreed with HMRC’s actions in challenging tax deduction claims arising out of the failed schemes.

The Supreme Court’s decision means that attempts to use technical and procedural points to avoid payment of the correct tax at the correct time have failed. Read the rest of this entry »

“PFI: five firms avoid tax despite £2bn profits, BBC learns”

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Source: 27 October 2017

“Five offshore PFI companies paid little or no corporation tax during a five-year period despite making profits of nearly £2bn, the BBC has learned.

The five companies specialised in lending money through Private Finance Initiatives (PFI).

They own hundreds of public assets including schools, hospitals and even police stations.”

“Meg Hillier, the Labour MP who chairs the Public Accounts Select Committee, told the BBC’s The World Tonight: “Frankly it is shocking. Our taxes are paying for our schools and hospitals… and yet these companies are clearly profiting and paying no UK tax.”

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“EU to investigate UK tax loophole for multinationals”

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Source: 25 October 2017

“The EU is to launch an investigation into a British government scheme that may help multinational firms pay less tax, the Guardian has learned.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner, will announce on Thursday that she is opening an in-depth investigation into a UK tax scheme that exempts multinationals from anti-tax avoidance measures. Officials think the special exemption for multinationals may break EU competition rules by allowing them to pay less tax than domestic-only rivals. Read the rest of this entry »

“HMRC triumphs over tax avoidance scheme expected to net £325m”

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Source: accountancy 23 October 2017

“HMRC has emerged victorious over a multi-million pound tax avoidance scheme used by the wealthy.

The taxman will be paid £18m of tax-payers money, but HMRC expects the ruling to have wider implications for hundreds of users of other Liberty schemes, predicted to protect £325m in unpaid tax.

The Upper Tribunal ruled in support of the First-tier Tribunal’s decision that the scheme, known as Clavis Liberty Fund 1 Limited Partnership, was “artificial and uncommercial”.”

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