In its response to HMRC’s second consultation on proposals to introduce a new corporate criminal offence of failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion, the CIOT main concerns are that the new offence must be subject to appropriate defences being available, that clear and unambiguous guidance is provided by the Government so that corporations understand exactly what measures they must put in place to comply, and that the measure is not used where it simply “adds to punishment”. In our view, the proposals represent a very significant change with extremely wide ranging implications for those affected by the measure.
Chancellor George Osborne’s plan to cut corporation tax to less than 15 per cent in the future is the first significant move on taxation that is related to the Brexit vote. It further differentiates the UK from the average rate of 25 per cent in the world's most developed countries.
When the seeds of the disclosure of tax avoidance schemes (DOTAS) régime were first sown the Government may have thought they included the acorn from which a mighty oak would grow. But since then the result, variegated by the general anti-abuse rule (GAAR) and follower notices and accelerated payment notices (APNs), has come to resemble an impenetrable thicket whose thorns now include heavy penalties for non-observance. The Government has even felt the need to include harsher penalties for non-compliance with the GAAR in the draft Finance Bill 2016 clauses despite no compliance failures having been recorded yet.
It was against the backdrop of accountants being derided in the media about their role in what some see as the unfairly lenient taxation of large companies that a panel of experts in social value took the brave decision this month to ask ‘Can accountants change the world?’ An audience at the Social Value Summit in London heard from two panellist who have tried to change accounting practices to be, in their eyes, more ethical, and another speaker gave the audience her view on the premise of the debate – even touching on quarterly reporting.
With public debate about corporation tax seemingly at an unprecendented scale, CIOT Tax Policy Director John Cullinane writes for the City AM newspaper to argue against radical changes to the corporation tax system because of the furore about HMRC's deal with Google.