Asda Money has joined forces with Noddle, to give Asda Money customers the opportunity to review their credit history for life without paying a penny.
Instead of tapping its own cash hoard for new buybacks and dividend hikes, Apple is borrowing money to avoid paying billions in repatriation taxes.
Read more here: Apple’s tax dodge
Energy price changes may see customers overpay by £55m a year, warns Which?, as MPs raise concerns over tax avoidance
Controversy around Britain’s energy industry will intensify on Monday amid revelations that the former head of a low-tax-paying power provider has been hired to help oversee HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and a warning that a new price regime demanded by the regulator, Ofgem, could still mean consumers paying £55m more a year than they should.
RWE npower was at the centre of a storm last week after admitting it had paid £2m, £3m and nothing in tax in the years 2009-2011, but now it transpires that Volker Beckers, its former boss, has been appointed as a non-executive director at the HMRC.
Ian Lavery MP, a member of the Commons Energy and Climate Change select committee, whose questioning led to npower’s admission, said: “(Chancellor) George Osborne has serious questions to answer about why he has appointed the boss of an energy firm which paid no corporation tax in the last three years, despite making £766m in profits, to the board of HMRC. HMRC has a bad enough record at stopping tax avoidance as it is.”
EDF*OFF, a group set up to campaign against the dominance of the big six suppliers, says the Beckers row is deeply embarrassing for the HMRC at a time when it is trying to rebuild public trust following the departure of former head, Dave Hartnett, after signing much-criticised sweetheart tax deals with Goldman Sachs and then joining HSBC.
Mark Williams of anti-austerity campaigners UK Uncut added: “It is no surprise the government loses billions of pounds to corporate tax dodgers every year when they hire those same tax dodgers to oversee tax inspectors. HMRC should be throwing the book at people like Volker, not hiring them.”
Npower, which faces a petition signed by more than 93,000 people calling on it to pay more tax, has consistently denied tax dodging and says the low tax payments result from the fact that the German-owned company has been investing billions of pounds in new gas and other power stations.
The Treasury has confirmed this can be legitimately written off against tax but independent tax specialists, such as Richard Murphy, have also questioned the necessity of some of the “interest payments” made by npower to its parent group RWE in Essen which also reduce the scale of npower’s taxable profits. Npower says this is a cheap way to borrow money.
The HMRC told the Guardian Beckers had been taken on under a public appointments process that involved rigorous vetting and disclosure of any conflicts of interest.
“Non-executive directors bring valuable external and commercial experience to HMRC. However, they are not responsible for the day-to-day management of HMRC, nor are they responsible for tax policy or for handling confidential individual or corporate taxpayer issues,” said a spokeswoman.
Meanwhile, analysis by Which?, the consumer group, reveals Ofgem’s proposals to overhaul energy tariffs may mean more than 3.4m households end up paying over the odds for their energy as they struggle to identify the cheapest energy tariffs. This could see consumers collectively paying up to £55m more than they need to on their bills.
Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which?, said: “These proposals are far too complicated and will fail to achieve their aim of making it easier for people to find the best deal, with three-quarters of people being asked to compare prices that are not based on their energy usage.”
Which? is launching a digital campaign on Monday, asking consumers to come forward and pledge their support for single unit prices to simplify the tariffs.
Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, has defended the company paying just £6m in corporation tax.
See original here: AUDIO: Google chief defends UK tax
Internet search giant Google is paying nearly $15m (£10.1m) in bonuses to four of its top executives for their performances last year.
Read the rest here: Google pays executives $15m bonuses
How plans for paying for long-term care affect you
Read this article: How care fee reforms may affect you
If food prices had risen as quickly as house prices over the past 40 years, we would now be paying more than £50 for a chicken, a charity says.
See original here: Food price increases lag house costs
The UK’s largest firms are paying 19% more tax now than in 2005, according to a report, despite corporation tax payments falling by 17%.
Read more: Company taxes ‘up 19% since 2005′
Leader says party would end secrecy over tax rates by reforming laws and forcing multinationals to publish payment figures
A Labour government would stop “scandalous” tax avoidance by multinational companies operating in Britain by ending secrecy over tax rates, Ed Miliband has said. In an attempt to overcome unfairness in the tax system, which many people currently regard with “horror”, Labour would introduce two major changes to bring greater transparency.
Firstly, multinationals would have to publish a single figure for the amount of corporation tax they pay. Companies would be free to structure their business as they see fit but would have to make an open declaration on the tax.
Secondly, tax laws that allow companies to avoid tax on profits made in Britain would be reformed. This is aimed at companies such as Starbucks and Amazon, which have structured their businesses to ensure they pay taxes in countries with lower rates.
The Labour leader told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1: “We’ve got a situation where many British companies and many individuals are paying their fair share of tax and they look in horror at a system where multinational companies, some multinational companies from other countries, can make huge profits in Britain and not pay taxes in Britain. This is scandalous, it’s got to change. The next Labour government will change it.
“We’ll end the tax secrecy because we can’t have a situation where we don’t know how much tax people are paying against how much profits they’re making, and I’m serving notice that we will take action.
“We will end this situation where people can get away with making big profits in Britain and for no reason at all and with no justification not paying any tax. It’s wrong and frankly it’s an insult to hardworking taxpayers in this country.”
Miliband was less forthcoming on whether he would reverse the government’s decision to withdraw child benefit from higher rate taxpayers. Asked whether he would restore this, he said: “Well I’m not going to say that now, no.”
If AIG thinks it can sue the American taxpayers who bailed it out, it has another thing coming: I call for an end to AIG’s tax breaks
AIG made reckless bets that nearly crashed our entire economy.
Beginning in 2008, the government poured billions of your taxpayer dollars into the insurance giant to save it from bankruptcy after it gambled on mortgage-backed securities. And the bailout worked – earlier this year, AIG reported making billions in profit.
But AIG has a funny way of showing its gratitude. This morning, reports indicated that AIG is considering joining a lawsuit against the federal government because the terms of the bailout weren’t generous enough. Can you believe it?
AIG should thank American taxpayers for their help – not bite the hand that fed them.
The story gets even worse: the government is still bailing out AIG. Right now this profitable insurance giant is getting special tax breaks to give it an advantage and boost its bottom line.
Today, I’m renewing my call for an end to AIG’s special tax status to avoid paying taxes – and I want you to join me. Enough is enough.
Every time AIG files its taxes without paying a dime, it receives another payment in an ongoing, stealth bailout. Those special tax giveaways give AIG a competitive advantage over its competitors – all while inflating AIG’s profit numbers and compensation for its executives.
Washington shouldn’t keep giving special breaks to giant corporations while hardworking middle-class families get stuck paying the bill – especially corporations that sucked up billions of dollars in bailouts after nearly crashing our economy.
Join the call for ending AIG’s ongoing bailout and special tax status. They’ve received enough of our help.
Everyone should have to play by the same rules and pay their fair share – even giant insurance companies. That’s what I believed when I was chair of the congressional oversight panel with oversight on the bank bailout, and that’s what I still believe now.
• This article was originally published as “Don’t Bite the Hand That Fed You” on elizabethwarren.com
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