At least, Ritchie thinks that his Fair Tax Mark is being nationalised:
One of the expectations of companies that sign up to the Fair Tax Mark is that they will have a clear, and regularly reviewed tax strategy that is available for public scrutiny. In that case I was pleased to note this on page 43 of the Budget small print:
To improve tax compliance among large businesses, the government will introduce legislation to improve transparency of tax strategies and give HMRC new powers to tackle those businesses who persistently engage in aggressive tax planning.
It’s clear what this means as yet. Will the strategies need to be public, or does this just mean that HMRC must have access to them? The note, and that which expands it a little later in the report, does not make that clear.
What is clear is that HMRC has caught on to what the Fair Tax Mark is saying, which is that this is an area where risk is too big for a company not to both consider and document its attitudes to tax avoidance and planning, and that this policy has to be kept under review. It’s good to see that they’re catching up.
Going to be interesting, his reaction when he finally realises it, to government crowding out private initiative as they nationalise his little money maker…..