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The War on Tax Avoidance claims another casualty

There’s another fallen soldier in the Government’s war on tax avoidance; ironically the newest casualty is David Cameron’s credibility.

It turns out – much to the Government’s chagrin – that under Cameron’s management the amount of tax avoidance encountered by the Treasury has absolutely rocketed upwards by an unbelievable amount. In fact, the difference between what HMRC collects and what it is still owed – has reached a massive £35 billion.

Now, some of this princely sum is made up of mistaken underpayments. However, the lion’s share is undoubtedly from either outright tax evasion or some very dodgy tax avoidance schemes that may be in compliance with the letter of the law but are certainly in violation of its spirit when it comes to revenue collection.

The truly damning bit of evidence, especially when it comes to the Prime Minister’s apparently empty promises – is that the tax gap actually grew by £3 billion after the Coalition Government came to power. At this point there’s really not much you can say in defence of the current Government, as it’s obvious to me at least that the ball has been dropped on the whole issue of rooting out tax avoidance.

For what it’s worth, the Government could all too easily mend its tarnished reputation, but I absolutely guarantee you that it will never happen. This is, of course, because it would require David Cameron to actually target all these big multinationals doing business in the UK. You know the ones, don’t you? Massive businesses like Starbucks, Google, or Amazon that pay a bare fraction of what they owe but get away with murder by funneling their profits overseas.

Of course going after these multinationals would also mean that the small business owner in the UK would finally get some respite. The number of sole traders, freelancers, and contractors that have had to deal with obscure and completely incomprehensible tax avoidance rules would dwindle to nearly nothing if we could just harness the billions in revenue that the Government is missing out on because there’s shedloads of cold, hard cash getting shipped off to the Caymans. Is it any wonder that no one trusts big corporations?

Well, no one but the Coalition Government, I suppose. If David Cameron was truly so keen on stamping out tax avoidance, maybe he sould turn his attention to those that are actually engaged in it instead of making the lives of small business owners miserable.

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