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Government needs to fix the tax code, CBI president says

Enough of the moral debate, says the president of the Confederation of British Industry – the government needs to fix the UK’s loophole-riddled tax system.

Sir Roger Carr has finally had enough of the government’s posturing and finger-pointing when it comes to accusatory comments towards which company might have avoided paying their fair share. Instead, it’s time for the UK government to take action with other governments to ensure that the tax laws are enforced worldwide. This is the best way to put an end to tax avoidance, Sir Roger insisted, and it would also prevent any problems with becoming a less competitive business market in comparison to a foreign tax regime.

The CBI president also issued the warning that governments absolutely must consult with firms when devising new tax laws. Not engaging the business community could lead these very same firms to not buy in to any new legislative movements – and a law that is ignored or flouted is not exactly a very good law if you ask him, or me for that matter!

Transparency is the absolute first and most important step that any government can take when it comes to taxation. All you need is a few worthwhile companies to justify their tax regimes by explaining them in full, acting as a brilliant example as far as what works and what to do for the rest of the business community. If you ask me, this could go a long way in clearing up a lot of the problems with the current tax climate, as transparency will have a direct impact on the reputation of the businesses in question – and consumers will be quick to condemn any firm that acts in a publicly reprehensible manner when it comes to tax avoidance, now won’t they?

Taxes are legal responsibilities, said Sir Roger, and I can’t help but agree with him. The CBI president took issue with interpreting paying taxes as a ‘down payment’ on the part of a business for being socially acceptable, but that a firm absolutely must keep close in mind the social obligations they have to any local communities that they impact -and how the public mood can completely destroy a firm if it turns against it!

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