Force firms to reveal tax bills, urges MP Chuka Umunna
Right after that Jersey trust tells us who owns your mother\’s house perhaps. If I\’ve got that little story correct.
But what really marks him out as a prat is this:
“To put it in context…in the tax year 2010/11, business paid £163bn in tax [in Britain]. That is the equivalent to the defence, education and transport budgets for this financial year.”
That\’s 11% or so of GDP. And believe me, that ain\’t corporation tax which is more like 2 or 3% of GDP. To get to that 11% he\’s certainly had to add in national insurance and quite possibly income tax on wages and maybe even VAT as well. Which might well be taxes collected by companies but they\’re not taxes paid by companies.
In fact, I seem to recall, when Chuka was shouting at Barclay\’s he didn\’t like the way that they lumped all these taxes together.
Last week, it emerged that Vodafone paid absolutely no corporation tax in the UK last year, despite taking £1.3bn in earnings before tax and interest.
I\’m becoming increasingly convinced that this is actually wrong. Not just the use of ebitda as the starting point and ignoring capital allowances etc. For there was the settlement of the Luxembourg case. In that settlement Vodafone said that it would be bringing some portion of that money back into the UK where it would be used to finance dividends. And moving such cash from a lot tax environment into the UK to pay a dividend will make it liable to UK corporation tax. At the headline rate minus whatever foreign taxes have already been paid.
It\’s possible that the very specific claim \”Vodafone UK LTD paid no corporation tax\” is true but not, at least I think not, the wider one that \”Vodafone PLC paid no UK corporation tax\”.