The NAO has uncovered the stunning fact that almost a third of the UK’s 700
largest companies do not pay a single cent of corporation tax, with a further
30% paying less than £10m each.
The revelations are almost certain to raise the pressure on private equity
groups and multinationals, who are able to dramatically cut the tax they owe by
claiming interest relief on debt or using intra-group loans.
Other reasons cited for the low tax bills include low profitability, claiming
tax losses and pension fund contributions.
The NAO research did acknowledge that the large businesses paid more than
half (54%) of the UK’s corporation tax takings. According to the NAO large
corporations paid £24.4bn in corporation tax in 2005/2006.