UK: UK vows crackdown on tax-avoiding tech firms
30 September 2014
Posted by: Author: Fin24
British finance minister George Osborne said on Monday he would clamp down on tax avoidance by technology companies which try to minimize their contributions to Britain's public coffers.
"Some technology companies go to extraordinary lengths to pay little or no tax here," Osborne told an annual conference of his Conservative Party.
"If you abuse our tax system, you abuse the trust of the British people. And my message to those companies is clear: we will put a stop to it."
Osborne did not mention any companies by name in his speech, which focused on the importance of bringing down Britain's budget deficit and promoting his stewardship of the economy as May's national election approaches.
Corporate tax avoidance has become a hot political topic following media coverage and parliamentary investigations into the arrangements many big firms use to reduce tax bills.
Osborne was among Group of 20 finance ministers who pushed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to re-examine international rules that allow technology companies to shift profits into tax havens.
Proposals unveiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) earlier this month could eliminate structures that have allowed companies such as Google and Amazon.com to shave billions of dollars off their global tax bills.
However, Osborne has also introduced new tax legislation covering overseas subsidiaries which campaigners say has made it easier for companies to avoid tax and which has encouraged a raft of companies to establish their tax residence in Britain.
This article first appeared on fin24.com.