UK tax system needs overhaul, warn UK CEOs

by Calum Fuller

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22 Jan 2014

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THE UK'S TAX SYSTEM is not "fit for purpose" and requires a complete overhaul if it is to tax companies effectively, chief executives have warned.

PwC's annual survey of CEOs revealed 73% of UK bosses feel the present system is unsuitable for the 21st century, while 71% believe attempts to reform it will be futile.

It is up to MPs to create a workable system, although the hold little confidence their efforts will produce any viable system, they added.

Three quarters of CEOs questioned claimed that paying a "fair share" of tax is a priority for their company.

Current OECD attempts to reform the international tax system would be unsuccessful in the next few years, according to two-thirds of respondents, far higher than the worldwide average of 40%.

"There's been a lot of criticism around the tax arrangements they [companies] have put in place," PwC UK chairman Ian Powell told The Telegraph in Davos.

"But actually, it's become a political question, because as long as countries are trying to use tax rates as a way to bring jobs into their own country, you are going to get tax arbitrage.

"What CEOs are asking for is: can we get some clarity on this, and can we get more consistency on tax arrangements, which would make it a lot easier for them to handle their affairs."

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