Friday, 21 September 2012

Demanding crusties

A press release from UK Uncut:
UK Uncut demand government reject Lord Fink’s call for UK to become a tax haven and take urgent steps to prevent billions being lost through tax avoidance
This is in response to the following quote:
Fink, who is a director of three firms which have subsidiaries or a parent company in the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg and Guernsey, said: "I don't see why the UK should not compete for jobs that at present are going to the Cayman Islands. I lobbied George Osborne when the Tories were in opposition. I have long felt that the British government loses jobs to tax havens by allowing the Revenue to have these rather archaic rules.
Usual lefty anger to be filed under "meh" then. There's a few interesting claims in there as well that we can take apart:
An investigation by the Times this week found that more than 2,000 Britons in Monaco are costing the UK economy £1billion a year in lost tax revenue.
Covered that one yesterday.
UK Uncut spokesperson Anna Walker said “Tax avoidance costs the UK £25billion a year..."
Not according to HMRC though:
The tax gap – the difference between what is owed and what is collected – is about £35 billion, which is eight per cent of the total amount of tax due. Tax avoidance accounts for 14 per cent of this gap – around £5 billion or one per cent of the tax due.
 And UK Uncut enemy number one gets a mention:
Despite vetting by HMRC, the government has still seen fit to award several tax exiles with honours. These include the billionaire Sir Phillip Green- who avoided £285million in capital gains tax in 2005.
Now you would think that after two years in existence, UK Uncut would have grasped some rudimentary tax knowledge and got its facts straight. This relates to the famous Arcadia dividend that was paid to the ultimate owner Christina Green, wife of Sir Philip. Now if you know of a way to extract UK tax from a South African, living in Monaco, who was paid a dividend seven years ago from a Jersey-based company, then HMRC would like to hear from you. And dividends are income, not capital gains you imbeciles.

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