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Taking Stock: Is Osborne’s stance on corporation tax peeling away?

REPORTS this week revealed that George Osborne was one of the recipients of a £335,000 dividend pay-out from his family’s wallpaper business.

This may not seem like breaking news but it’s all the more important when you find out that the company, aptly named Osborne & Little Group, has paid no corporation tax since 2007.

A report from The Sunday Times shows that this non-payment is due to the business rolling over losses from previous years, as well the company postponing its tax payments.

This is a revelation that we at TS Towers believe will do nothing but benefit the chancellor in his war against tax avoidance.

After stories emerged back in 2012 that a number of celebrities, including comedian Jimmy Carr had been using aggressive tax avoidance schemes, Osborne described tax avoidance as “morally repugnant”.

Osborne has since made it his mission to clamp down on domestic and international tax avoidance, having recently hailed HMRC’s £130m tax settlement with Google as a “major success”, despite critics slamming it as a “sweetheart deal”. The whole affair has sparked public outrage as to how international companies should pay their taxes.

The international finance community is also concerned with how the government handles multinational’s tax affairs, with the European Commission threatening to investigate the Google deal.

Following this slightly embarrassing news, let’s hope that Osborne can paper over the cracks when it comes to his views on tax avoidance. His family company’s situation, TS is sure he would argue, is completely different.

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