Tax avoidance is pernicious: it means that people
and institutions ‘get round’ their obligation to pay
tax in ways which tax law did not anticipate and
did not intend. Tax avoidance, both corporate and
personal, is estimated to cost the UK at least £25
billion a year. Since some effects cannot readily be
measured, the true cost is likely to be more.66
The reference is of course to Murphy\’s own report \”The Missing Billions\”.
That very report which woefully and grievously overestimates the billions missing. See here for the full argument. As Ritchie says:
If the estimated loss is extrapolated across all of these 700 companies then the total corporation tax expectation gap might be some £11.8 billion. This is an increase from £9.2 billion, which was the estimate made the last time a similar exercise to that undertaken here was completed, relating to the period to 2004 30. As a proportion this may be the highest gap of all. Much may be due to legitimate tax planning, but by no means all is. Some, undoubtedly, is due to tax avoidance.
So Ritchie, in his report, agrees that tax avoidance is much less than £11.8 billion: in his second report he says that it is much higher, obviously.
I wonder whether we might ask him to make up his mind?