Big firms let off £25BILLION in taxes: As families are chased for every penny, corporate giants dodge their massive bills

Big firms let off £25BILLION in taxes: As families are chased for every penny, corporate giants dodge their massive bills


Big firms have it ‘far too easy’ says withering report
Criticism of HMRC’s refusal to answer questions about its dealings with big businesses
By Becky Barrow

Last updated at 2:42 AM on 20th December 2011

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Britain’s biggest firms owe the taxman up to £25.5billion, but are regularly let off the hook, MPs say today.
By contrast, families and small businesses are treated much more harshly and forced to pay up.
The sum owed by corporate giants is the equivalent of £1,000 for every British family, or the equivalent of everyone in the UK paying an extra 6p on the basic rate of income tax.

The 25.5bn is HMRC’s own ‘ballpark estimate’ of the maximum tax liabilities of big businesses
In a withering attack, the Public Accounts Committee accuses HM Revenue and Customs of having a ‘far too cosy’ relationship with big firms, which are repeatedly allowed to cut their tax bills or avoid paying interest.

The report, published today, says: ‘We have serious concerns that large companies are treated more favourably by HMRC than other taxpayers.’
It criticises the department’s ‘specific and systemic failures’.
Margaret Hodge, Labour chairman of the committee, says the report is ‘a damning indictment of HMRC’.

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She is particularly critical of the refusal by the department’s executives to answer questions from MPs about details of its dealings with big business.
They insisted that there were issues of confidentiality, but Mrs Hodge dismissed these claims, saying they are using ‘a cloak to protect the department from scrutiny’.
The report says executives, such as the outgoing chief executive Dave Hartnett, gave ‘imprecise, inconsistent and potentially misleading answers’, and states: ‘This situation is entirely unacceptable.’
In total, the report says, HMRC is seeking to resolve more than 2,700 issues with the biggest companies, including disputes over outstanding tax, with potential tax at stake of £25.5billion.
Scathing: Margaret Hodge, Labour chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, said the report is a ‘damning indictment of HMRC’ LOL!!!
It warns: ‘The department has left itself open to suspicion that its relationship with large companies is too cosy.’
The £25.5billion is HMRC’s own ‘ballpark estimate’ of the maximum potential tax liabilities of big businesses, calculated before any proper investigation has taken place.

‘This report will increase suspicions that big businesses are treated differently’
The figure can be dramatically cut by a business legitimately applying for a relief, or being able to offset a tax liability against a loss made in the previous financial year.
The report is published days after Mr Hartnett, 60, announced his plans to retire next year following a barrage of criticism surrounding his running of the department.
He will not be leaving empty-handed. He stands to scoop a pension which is currently worth between £75,000 and £80,000 a year.
This gold-plated sum will be paid after Mr Hartnett has taken a lump sum of between £160,000 and £165,000 from his £1.7million pension pot.
The report is critical of his attendance at a ‘significant’ number of lunches and dinners ‘with large companies with whom HMRC was settling complex tax disputes’.
Emma Boon of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘Ordinary taxpayers often feel that they are treated harshly when they make genuine mistakes because of our complicated tax system.
‘This report will increase suspicions that big businesses are treated differently.’
HMRC executives, such as the outgoing Dave Hartnett, were ‘imprecise and inconsistent’, according to the report
One of the most notorious cases involved Goldman Sachs, the American investment bank known for the multi-million bonuses paid to many of its staff every year.
Under a controversial ‘sweetheart’ deal, the report says the taxman lost up to £20million from interest payments that could have been claimed. Some of these big business settlements are currently the subject of a separate investigation by the Government’s spending watchdog, the National Audit Office.
HMRC has been responsible for a catalogue of errors recently. Around 6million taxpayers are currently getting letters saying they have over-paid, and can expect to get back £400 each, equal to £2.5billion. Around 1.2million others are being told they need to pay an average of £600 more.
Yesterday an HMRC spokesman rejected the MPs’ report, saying it was based on ‘partial information, inaccurate opinion and some misunderstanding of facts’.
He said the £25.5billion figure was ‘a ballpark estimate of maximum potential tax liabilities’. It is not ‘actual tax’ that is owed or unpaid.
He added: ‘In many cases, when HMRC has looked at the full facts, it becomes clear that there is no further liability at all.’
David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘The Government has full confidence in HMRC and its current leadership.’

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“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power” – Benito Mussolini
– XP, London, UK, 20/12/2011 04:06



One response to “Big firms let off £25BILLION in taxes: As families are chased for every penny, corporate giants dodge their massive bills



    On 2 March 2008, Eileen Fairweather at the The Mail on Sunday had an excellent news story entitled ‘I have known about Jersey paedophiles for 15 years,’ says award-winning journalist.

    Eileen Fairweather described the links between child abuse in Islington in London and child abuse on the islands of Jersey and Guernsey. She also suggests possible cover-ups by top police and politicians.

    According to the Mail on Sunday article:

    1. About 15 years ago, Detective Constable Peter Cook uncovered a child sex ring, with victims in both Britain and Jersey.

    Cook’s police bosses barred Cook from alerting police abuse specialists in London. Inquiries by junior detectives were closed down by senior police officers.

    The child abuse ring members included an aristocrat, clerics and a social services chief. Their friends included senior police officers.

    Cook managed to meet people at the National Criminal-Intelligence Squad. Little happened.

    2. In February 2008, ‘a child’s remains’ were found at a former children’s home on Jersey.

    More than 200 children who lived at Haut de la Garenne have described sexual and physical torture dating back to the Sixties.

    3. There are the links between the child abuse at care homes in Islington, North London, and the child abuse on Jersey.

    14-year-old Jason Swift, killed in 1985 by a paedophile gang, is believed to have lived in Islington council’s Conewood Street home.

    Two sources claimed this.

    Every one of Islington’s 12 care homes included staff who were paedophiles, child pornographers or pimps.

    Police secretly confirmed that several Islington workers were ‘major operators in the supply of children for abuse and pornography’.

    Islington children were taken to Jersey ‘on unofficial visits’.

    Government Minister Margaret Hodge, then council leader in Islington, denounced “gutter journalists” who supposedly bribed children to lie about abuse.

    (The Right Honourable Margaret Eve, Lady Hodge, MBE (née Margaret Oppenheimer; born September 1944, Cairo) is a British politician and Labour Party Member of Parliament for Barking. She was the first Minister for Children appointed in a newly created post within the Department for Education and Skills in 2001.)

    Early lifeMargaret Eve Oppenheimer was born in Egypt in 1944 to Hans and Lisbeth Oppenheimer, a refugee multi-millionaire German Jewish steel trader and his Austrian Jewish wife.[1][2] The family’s company Stemcor is the world’s largest privately owned steel-trading corporation, with an annual turnover of £6.28 billion in 2008.[3][4] After World War II, the family settled in London. Her mother died when Margaret was 10. She was educated at Bromley High School, Oxford High School and the London School of Economics where she obtained a third class BSc Economics degree in 1966. She worked in market research from 1966 to 1973.

    She married Andrew Watson in 1968. They had a son and daughter. The couple divorced in 1978 and that same year she married Henry Hodge (later Sir Henry), going on to have two daughters. Henry Hodge was a fellow Labour borough councillor and Chairman of the National Council for Civil Liberties who went on to become a High Court judge; he died in 2009. From 1992 to 1994, she was a senior consultant for Price Waterhouse.


    Fabian Women MPs | Fabian Women Member of Parliament (MP) for Bethnal Green and Bow since 2010. ….. Rt Hon
    Margaret Hodge MP … Former Chair of the Fabian Executive Committee. She is …

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