Lord McIntosh of Haringey said the four-country initiative would be located in Washington for the next two years and made it clear that the government may seek to expand it to other members of the G7 or the countries engaged in the Financial Action Task Force.
And he told peers: ‘It is important that we should stop the far too prevalent abuse – I shall not use the word ‘abusive’, but I nearly did – when very highly paid lawyers and accountants find ways to deprive the Revenue of monies that parliament would wish to go to the Revenue and to us.’
He brushed aside claims that the best way to reduce avoidance and evasion was to reduce tax levels, insisting that the preservation of public services required action to stop ‘clever people trying to avoid taxes’.
Former Labour Treasury minister and Public Accounts Commission chairman Lord Sheldon said there was a case for trying to co-ordinate anti-avoidance action with other countries.
His definition of ‘abusive avoidance’ caused a number of Lords to challenge Lord McIntosh over the difference between legal ‘avoidance’ and illegal ‘evasion’.
Provisions in the Finance Bill require notification of the use of some avoidance schemes and compel companies to notify the tax authorities when they are considering other schemes with the ‘hallmarks’ of deliberate avoidance.
Making Tax Digital will impose significant additional tax compliance costs on small businesses for little or no medium term benefit, tax and small business experts told MPs
MHA MacIntyre Hudson has partnered with cloud accounting software provider Xero ahead of the government’s requirement for digital records
The drive towards a fully digital tax regime is an admirable one, but mandation is simply wrong, according to one of the UK's most senior tax technology practitioners - Paul Aplin
Does Darwin's theory apply to taxation? Colin ponders...