Progress launch “Tax Avoidance Charter”

30th May, 2013 9:02 am

Progress are today launching a “Tax Avoidance Charter” ahead of the G8 meeting next month. They’ll be arguing that there’s no excuse for inaction on tax avoidance in the UK and that it is “simply unfair a group of global corporations and wealthy individuals are avoiding paying their fair share”. They’ll also argue that this “is not an anti-business agenda; it is a crusade for fairness to show that we are truly ‘all in this together’.”

Here’s how that charter will look:

EXPOSE THE TAX AVOIDERS …

1.‘Name and shame’ companies and individuals engaged in tax avoidance. This would both have a powerful deterrent effect and help to change the culture among those people who see tax avoidance as legitimate and desirable rather than the abrogation of civic duty that it really is.
2. Open up the tax affairs of large quoted companies, starting with the FTSE 100. We should require companies to be much more transparent about their businesses and profits in the accounts they file with Companies House.

HMRC HAS GOT TO GET A GRIP …

3. Challenge the tax arrangements of multinational companies to ensure that they are a true and fair reflection of their economic activity in this country.
4. Get tough on tax avoiders by mounting more prosecutions.
5. Ensure HMRC has the right staff with the right skills. There needs to be the expertise within HMRC to keep up with those who devise and market tax-avoidance schemes

GOVERNMENT HAS GOT TO GET TOUGH …

6. Draw up a code of conduct to present conflicts of interest. Individuals working for large accountancy firms who advise government on tax law should not go on to create new ways of getting round it.
7. Deny public sector contracts to any company engaged in aggressive tax avoidance.
8. Beef up the Office of Tax Simplification which has just six civil servants working for it.

Progress will be holding a launch event for their charter with Public Accounts Committee Chair Margaret Hodge on Monday, as well as asking CLPs to pass their motion on the charter.

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