Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Liberal Democrats are fiercest opponents of tax dodging – Williams

Liberal Democrat Conference today [Sunday] passed a motion calling for further action to tackle tax avoidance.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson, Stephen Williams said:

“In passing my corporate tax avoidance motion, the Liberal Democrats have again shown that we are the fiercest political opponents of tax dodging.

“The Coalition Government can go into the G8 with a strong mandate for real change.

“Supporters of Action Aid, Christian Aid and many more charities have chosen this important issue as their 2013 campaign and I am proud that the Liberal Democrats will stand side by side with them in making this the year of tax justice.”


Notes to Editors:

The full text of the motion is below:

Conference believes that all corporations should pay their fair share of tax in countries where they make a profit, ensuring that they do not artificially avoid tax to the detriment of the communities in which they operate, both in the UK, globally and especially in developing countries where tax revenue is a route out of aid dependence.

Conference notes the Coalition’s ongoing work to ensure a fair tax system at home and abroad, specifically:

i)          The introduction of a General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) which outlaws wholly artificial and aggressive tax avoidance by individuals and companies in the UK.

ii)         The increase in resources for HMRC to tackle tax dodging.

iii)        The commitment to focus the G8 Presidency in Lough Erne and work within the G20 to tackle multinational corporate tax avoidance, such as the practices reportedly used, for example, by Starbucks, Facebook and Amazon, to avoid vast amounts of tax in the countries in which they are profitable.

Conference calls on Liberal Democrat Ministers in the Coalition Government to:

1.         Ensure that the recommendations of the International Development Select Committee report Tax in Developing Countries are implemented so that developing countries are able to use tax as a way out of aid dependency, specifically:

a)         Introduce legislation requiring tax authorities to automatically share information relating to UK citizens and corporations.

b)         Enact legislation requiring each UK-based multinational corporation to report its financial information on a country-by-country basis.

c)         Assess new primary and secondary UK tax legislation against its likely impact on poverty reduction and revenue-raising in developing countries.

d)         Assist developing countries to enhance the expertise of their own tax assessment and collection agencies.

2.         Press for UK legislation to be amended to ensure that HMRC has greater powers over the disclosure of tax avoidance schemes by UK-based companies.

3.         Insist that multinationals operating in the UK disclose all their intra-group transactions, which may be used to shift taxable profit out of the UK; to do this HMRC needs expanded information powers, which could be used in tax returns or disclosure regimes like Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS).

4.         Consider lodging UK Corporation Tax returns for inspection at Companies House.

5.         Consider greater transparency of the details of out-of-court tax settlements agreed between HMRC and corporations.

6.         Ensure HMRC has sufficient in-house expertise in law and forensic accountancy to tackle corporate tax avoidance.

Applicability: Federal.

Published and promoted by Tim Gordon on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, both at LDHQ, 8-10 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AE.