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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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VIDEO: Apple results may reveal profits fall

Category : Business, World News

Apple will report its latest set of results on Tuesday, and analysts say it will reveal first fall in profits in a decade.

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French ministers to reveal wealth

Category : Business, World News

French government ministers are due to reveal details of their personal wealth as part of efforts by President Hollande to regain public trust.

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Lululemon suffers fashion faux pas

Category : Business, World News

Retailer Lululemon removes a range of its popular stretch yoga pants from sale because they reveal a little too much.

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Facebook rallies ahead of News Feed revamp

Category : Business

Shares of the social network climbed a day before it is expected to reveal a new look for its popular feature. But will changes to News Feed increase ad sales?

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Avaaz bank tax transparency petition attracts more than 200,000 signatures

Category : Business

EU finance ministers petitioned to force banks to reveal how much tax is paid and profits made on country-by-country basis

More than 200,000 people have signed a petition calling on European Union finance ministers to force banks to reveal how much they tax they pay and the profits they generate in individual countries. The lobby group Avaaz is leading the campaign and called on the finance ministers to force banks to “tame bank trickery”.

Banks are currently only obliged to disclose how much tax they pay in total, rather than how much tax they pay in the individual countries in which they operate.

Sharon Bowles, a British member of the European parliament, said: “This petition, signed by over 190,000 EU citizens – including myself – demonstrates that taxpayers can no longer accept untransparent accounting practices by global banks.”

The campaign is under way as discussions on the capital requirements directive – which could bring in the tax changes, new international capital rules and a cap on bankers’ bonuses – draws to a close.

Comet collapse to cost UK £49m

Category : Business, World News

The collapse of failed electrical chain Comet will cost the government £49.4m in redundancy payments and owed tax revenues, administrators Deloitte reveal.

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Comet collapse to cost UK £49m

Category : World News

The collapse of failed electrical chain Comet will cost the government £49.4m in redundancy payments and owed tax revenues, administrators Deloitte reveal.

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Comet collapse to cost UK £49m

Category : Business, World News

The collapse of failed electrical chain Comet will cost the government £49.4m in redundancy payments and owed tax revenues, administrators Deloitte reveal.

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Man City losses halve in 2011-12

Category : Business

Premier League champions Manchester City reveal that their financial losses for 2011-12 have halved from a year earlier.

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How to shop and ensure your cash isn’t going to a tax haven

Category : Business

Exclusive research for Money reveals which retailers are paying their fair share

Amazon, Starbucks, Google, Apple, Boots, Caffe Nero, travel operator Tui … the list of companies named in the debate over tax avoidance grows ever longer. So where can shoppers spend their hard-earned money and know that the company isn’t funnelling the cash offshore and paying virtually no corporation tax? Figures prepared for Guardian Money by Ethical Consumer magazine reveal where you can shop with confidence.

Top of its list is Lush, the high street hand-made cosmetics chain and multinational with operations in more than 40 countries. Yet it has chosen not to use devices such as tax havens and “transfer pricing” to hide profits. Researchers at Ethical Consumer found that it paid 42% tax on its £21m profits in the UK last year, giving £8.9m to the Treasury. Amazon, meanwhile, revealed to the Commons public accounts committee last month that it had sales in the UK of £2.9bn, yet paid just £1.8m in tax.

If Amazon enjoys the same level of profit margin as Lush, and paid tax at the same rate, then Amazon would be handing over nearly £100m a year to the Treasury – enough to build five secondary schools.

Other store chains scoring highly in Ethical Consumer’s research were John Lewis, which paid 35% tax on its profits last year, Marks & Spencer (27%), Next (26%) and Debenhams (22%). Ethical Consumer examined the percentage of actual tax paid on profits and only included companies that did not have “high risk” subsidiaries in tax havens.

Lush co-founder and managing director Mark Constantine accuses Amazon of operating a legal but “basically corrupt business model” and reveals how top business people, like himself, are repeatedly touted complex schemes to skirt taxes, such as running profits through Ireland or Luxembourg. “I could spend all day in meetings with accountants and tax experts who show you how you can pay less. In one year, one of our competitors paid just 2%. But it just doesn’t feel right.”

He says tax avoidance in Britain has become such a part of boardroom culture that executives are focusing on these schemes and taking their eye off the main job – running their businesses.

“We are big in Japan and have a lot of Japanese staff. There, they absolutely refuse to fiddle their taxes. From the bottom of the company to the top, the staff would absolutely refuse to do it. What we need here is a return to a climate where businesses are not focussed on strange machinations to avoid tax but, instead, on the important things that make you a commercial success.”

But the government needs to take the lead, he says. “It has to set the rules and vigorously enforce them. In some ways, I’m embarrassed that our business came top in the Ethical Consumer survey. Other businesses probably think we’re stupid. We even looked at taking the tax rates paid by all of our competitors over five years, averaging that out and paying 10% more. But even that would have involved us in schemes we didn’t want to get into. It’s the government that’s got to get a lot more vigorous.”

But shoppers don’t have to wait for the government to act – many have already begun their personal boycotts. Margaret Hodge MP was so angered by Amazon’s aggressive policies that she has already publicly declared that from now on she will stop using it. A poll that ran on the Guardian’s website earlier this week asked readers if they would be boycotting Amazon this Christmas: 53% said they would, but 47% said no. Typical of the comments from those people against was: “Blame the government for not legislating against tax evasion. Don’t blame the companies for saving money.”

Today Ethical Consumer, an independent co-operative that produces guides, ratings and best-buy advice, is launching a broader “Boycott Amazon” campaign. Tim Hunt, who calculated the figures on tax for Guardian Money says: “With this research we hope to give consumers some better options. What we have produced is by no means a definitive list. For example, there will be many small independent retailers paying the proper amount of tax who deserve recognition. However, we wanted to produce a list of widely available brands to make it as easy as possible for consumers to avoid using Amazon.

“Over the past few weeks and months there has been an increasing demand to find alternatives. People are rightly angry and are looking to shop with retailers, both online and on the high street, that pay their fair share.

“The companies we are recommending are paying a much higher rate of tax on their profits than Amazon, and contributing a more proper amount to the public purse. During this time of swingeing public service cuts, we feel that this is vitally important as every penny counts.”

But what of the hundreds of traders that use Amazon Marketplace? Amazon is just a platform on which they sell their goods, and many have voiced serious concerns about losing business from a boycott, even though they pay their fair share of taxes. Ethical Consumer says: “There’s no reason why tax-paying traders should take a hit from our boycott. If you see an item on Amazon that you’d like to buy, simply find the name of the company online and then go to the company’s website and buy directly.”

You can get a four-week trial subscription to Ethical Consumer magazine and access to its website at ethicalconsumer.org/subscriptions