I’m looking forward to the explanations about Unite’s tax bill

Conservative research found that Unite paid no tax in the last two years by being able to exploit an obscure accounting loophole.

This loophole meant that the union was able to offset millions of pounds in profits from a £51.6 million portfolio of stocks and shares against ‘provident benefits’ for members.

Unite generated an investment income of £5,787,000 in the past two years from their portfolio, but paid £0 Corporation Tax.

It’s hardly an obscure accounting loophole. Unions do provide provident benefits and the income they make to do so isn’t taxable. But the real reason no tax was paid is because the law says none is due. As with Vodafone and Luxembourg, Barclay’s and SSE, Amazon and the warehouses, Vodafone and Verizon and so on down the list that people complain about.

If tax ain’t due then tax ain’t paid.

6 comments on “I’m looking forward to the explanations about Unite’s tax bill

  1. It is a loophole. Why? Because the other side say that Amazon et al are using loopholes. So you have to use their argument against them. You can’t try and persuade people like Guardian readers that the real truth is the law allows it. You have to debase yourself to their level and talk in their words. It’s the only way you can get anything into their thick heads.

  2. UKUncut will this moment be blockading their head office. I expect the BBC news front page is wall-to-wall on this.

  3. No tax is payable IF the “profits” – by which the Telegraph means gains – were all absorbed by the benefits and/or provisions for future costs of the benefits in excess of the members’ payments towards these. Because, if so, there was no *profit*, in the correct meaning of the word which the Telegraph ignores, to be taxed.
    If, on the other hand, some of the gains were used to finance Unite’s political activities, tax would be payable. Since the regulator should be jumping up and down if anything other than the political levy was used to fund political activities, it is unlikely that money has been diverted from the provident fund.

  4. A loophole is something that is inserted into the tax code by the Conservative Party. A relief as intended by Parliament is inserted into the tax code by the Labour Party.

    Unless it relates to exemptions for gains on substantial shareholdings or dividends received by UK companies.

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