MPs call for crackdown on corporate avoidance

MPs and Lords called for a crackdown on corporate tax avoidance yesterday in
response to an exposé in The Guardian revealing
Tesco’s elaborate
corporate structure, involving offshore tax havens which enables the retailer to
avoid tax payments of what could be up to £1bn of tax on profits from the sale
of its UK properties.

MPs have become concerned about offshore centres such as the Cayman Islands
which have been making it more difficult for regulatorors such as the Financial
Services Authority and the Bank of England to know accurately what is happening
in the economy and within businesses.

Labour MP John McFall, the chair of the
Treasury select
, told The Guardian, the committee would also examine the
issue of tax avoidance in a report to be published on Monday. The Treasury
select committee inquiry was established after the run on the Northern Rock bank
at the end of last year.

Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Tesco’s executive director of corporate and legal
affairs, said in a statement: ‘We have an open relationship with Her Majesty’s
Revenue and Customs and meet with them regularly to discuss our tax affairs,
including our property and international transactions.’

Further reading:

Watchdog to police supermarket late payments

story in The Guardian

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