Among those ranged against HMRC are the big four accountancy firms, Deloitte, Ernst and Young, KPMG, and PwC, which earn Ap2 billion each year from their tax work in the UK. They employ nearly 9, 000 people just to provide tax advice aimed at minimizing the tax paid. Between them they boast 250 transfer pricing specialists whereas HMRC has only 65 people working in this area. The firms declare that their focus is now on acceptable tax planning and not aggressive tax avoidance however they continue to sell complex tax avoidance schemes with as little as 50 per cent chance of succeeding if challenged in court. The large accountancy firms are in a powerful position in the tax world and have an unhealthily cosy relationship with government. They second staff to the Treasury to advise on formulating tax legislation. When those staff return to their firms, they have the very inside knowledge and insight to be able to identify loopholes in the new legislation and advise their clients on how to take advantage of them. This is a clear conflict of interest which should be banned in a code of conduct for tax advisers. The UK must also take the lead in demanding urgent reform of international tax law, so that companies have to pay a fair share of tax where they actually do business and make profits. Furthermore, the job of simplifying our tax code needs to be taken seriously; yet the Office of Tax Simplification has just 6 people working in itThe Role of Large Accountancy Firms, Forty-Fourth Report of Session 2012-13, Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence Great Britain: ... initiatives such as the new Controlled Foreign Companies and Patent Box regimes as well as a steady reduction in the headline corporation tax rate. ... We welcome the current debate and the need for greater transparency that it has identified. ... Deloittea#39;s UK revenues, across all service lines, in 2011a12 were Ap 2.33 billion.
|Author||:||Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2013-04-26|