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Conservatives promise even more anti-avoidance measures

The Conservatives are saying they will institute even more stringent anti-tax avoidance measures if they’re voted in at the next election.

The annual Conservative Party conference has come and gone, and George Osborne has gone on record stating he’ll be even more hawkish when it comes to pinning down tech companies engaging in schemes to dodge their corporation tax liabilities. The Chancellor says the goal is to target the big leaders in the tax avoidance categories such as Apple, Google, and anyone else who thinks that pulling the wool over the eyes of Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs is easy, and industry analysts say that this could end up being a boon to freelancers and contractors based on the idea that tax rates might drop if HMRC can finally collect on the billions its missing out on by not getting its hands on these large multinationals and their money.

Mr Osborne was rather clear in his desire to get his hands on this cash, remarking that it’s hard to find anywhere in the world with lower business taxes. These taxes need to be paid, he added, remarking that any company caught abusing the UK’s tax system needs to be held accountable – especially when it comes to abusing the British people.

Now I know I’m more than a bit cynical, but for what it’s worth this sounds more like the kinds of lofty speech you would expect from a politician going into an election season. I’m not going to come out and say that Osborne’s just blowing smoke in order to gain some voter support ahead of the election, but I will say that it’s just these kinds of promises that can come back and bite a political party on the arse if they go unfulfilled after being voted into power.

I will say that it would be nice for contractors to have some of the heat taken off them, though – that much would be quite nice. Many industry analysts feel that HMRC has been leaving no stone unturned in the quest for more tax revenue, and with the money these multinationals make being safely out of reach there’s often a feeling that small business owners are targeted to make up for any shortfalls in the Treasury’s coffers. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what happens, won’t we?

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