Richard Murphy, a tax campaigner and chartered accountant, counts the ways this government fails to collect its taxes.
Murphy says data from Switzerland on secret UK bank accounts was sent – 6,000 names from just one bank – but it took 18 months to send them letters and only two people have been prosecuted. “Do you think banks don’t tip off their clients?” Murphy asks. Of the £3bn predicted to be recouped, only £700,000 has been collected.
Or perhaps all those accounts belonged to British citizens who were either non-resident or resident but non-doms. You know, people who don’t actually owe UK tax on money in Switzerland?
And the real joy here is that Osborne’s mistake was to believe the campaigners like Murphy (and Brooks etc) about how much money there might be recoverable. Now, when there isn’t as much as they insisted there was they’re wandering around with that “What, me? Farted?” look on their faces.
Scandals erupt: the man who helped npower use Malta to avoid corporation tax sits on HMRC’s board alongside other business people. Why isn’t Murphy on that board?
Because he doesn’t know very much about the subject under discussion?
Despite protests by Sainsbury’s and John Lewis, tax-avoiding Amazon continues to undercut high-street stores that do pay tax by pretending all its profits arise in Luxemburg. Google pretends it operates all deals from a man-and-a dog office in Ireland.
The law expressly and specifically allows these practices.
Part of me actually wants The Murph on the HMRC baord. Be fun to see how long he lasts before he gets fired.