Tax your lot

There’s so much going on at the moment I don’t have time to blog it all! So here are some highlights.

The debate on multi-nationals pondering a move abroad away from what is perceived to be an unattractive UK tax regime seems to be gathering steam. It isn’t as easy as it seems, though, as Anneli Collins of KPMG explains in this week’s Accountancy Age. There’s also an interesting, and highly sceptical, view, put by Dennis Howlett at his Accman Pro blog. If I was in the Treasury, I would be more worried about a steady trickle of decisions to situate new business offshore than a showy HQ move.

The Richard & Judy case, which Accountancy Age revealed two weeks ago now, looks like being one of the most absurd cases of recent times. The Sunday Times went to town over the case at the weekend, revealing that television stars and other famous celebrities are set to be targetted for hundreds of millions of pounds as part of the attack. The government seems to be arguing that television stars should not get a tax deduction for their agents whereas singers and others can, an absurd point of view. What happens if you’re Des O’Connor?

I’m afraid I missed the flat tax debate at ACCA on Tuesday. Richard Murphy, the tax campaigner, led the debate and wrote a report. You can get to the report, entitled ‘A Flat Tax for the UK: The implications of simplification’, through ACCA’s website. Richard cuts a characteristic swathe through arguments for lowering and flattening taxes. There’s plenty of interest to read in it, and even if you don’t agree with his conclusions, one thing you won’t be able to do is think that a flat tax system would be simple.

There were some disreputable suggestions put about by incorrigible gossips before the debate that Murphy and his opposite number in the debate, Richard Teather, would tear strips off each other throughout. Though Murphy has assured me it was all good-natured, I’d be keen to hear from anyone who can offer an independent adjudication on the big match bout…

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