Misguided outrage over multinationals’ tax affairs

05 Nov

In recent weeks, several major multinationals including Apple, Google, Facebook, eBay and Starbucks have come under scrutiny after the Public Accounts Committee claimed that they had collectively “avoided nearly £900 million of tax.”

A growing number of politicians are ‘banging the drum’ on the issue of multinationals’ tax.  They claim that by legally mitigating their tax obligations, these corporations are somehow failing the British public.

It might be worth considering if the system needs to be changed, but it is hypocritical and misguided for MPs to berate these firms when they are acting within the letter and the spirit of current UK tax laws, which for more than 100 years have put ‘clear water’ between a company that trades with Britain and one that trades within Britain.

Until those laws are modified – laws which are similar to those found in most countries around the world – the witch-hunt of these wealth and job-creating multinationals must be called-off.

These foreign corporations are free to structure their business interests to take advantage of more tax-efficient regulations in other countries, so long as taxes are collected in accordance with where genuine economic activity is undertaken.

 At the deVere Group we advise on tax efficient solutions for individuals. It is never a question of avoiding tax but rather understanding the rules and not paying excessive tax.  Governments around the world often charge excessive tax then spend it unwisely.  At deVere we show individuals the most tax efficient solution for them. Is that wrong? I don’t think so.

Nigel Green deVere

Blog written on November 6th 2012


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