AS MUCH AS £1BN in taxes – and perhaps more – could have been avoided by telecoms giant Vodafone.
The world’s largest mobile telephone business is alleged to have kept back payments due to the UK taxman over the past 16 years through legitimate accounting methods. Other European jurisdictions including Spain and Germany have taken billions, reports Reuters.
It has achieved that by accruing tax credits so it may not have to pay UK tax for the foreseeable future.
UK revenues have climbed, as it is reportedly one of the company’s strongest-performing markets. However, the telco has posted losses in the UK over the past three years.
“This is yet another tax scandal,” MP Margaret Hodge, chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee – which scrutinises public expenditure and revenue-raising – told Reuters.
She added: “It may be legal, but it’s completely immoral. They make money out of Britain, and they should put money back into Britain.”
Vodafone said it was committed to acting with integrity and transparency in all tax matters, while also having a responsibility to shareholders to control tax costs.
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