Offshore plan inspires

/ 13 November 2015

David Whiscombe

‘The Independent continues its focus on traders in the Welsh town of Crickhowell, which is aiming to become the UK’s first “offshore” town by copying the tax avoiding tactics employed by big corporations. It notes that other towns across the UK have now expressed interest in creating their own tax avoidance schemes after Emma Cawfield-Walters, the owner of Book-ish Bookshop, gained the support of Totally Locally, which campaigns for local investment and counts just under 100 towns as members.

Source: The Independent’

Sorry, but this is a pointless gimmick. The fact of the matter is that the tax rules as they stand allow some genuinely international businesses to structure their affairs in a way that is simply not available to a purely domestic business. It may not be fair or reasonable but it’s the law: and that is precisely why the government is bringing in the so-called “Google Tax”.

For example, it may be possible for an international business to establish a group finance subsidiary which is genuinely based and operated overseas and which genuinely finances the operations of a UK fellow-subsidiary with real money derived from the profits of operations elsewhere in the world-wide group. That is simply not a credible possibility for the local butcher, baker or candle-stick maker on Crickhowell High Street and they are living in a fools’ paradise if they think it is.

David Whiscombe


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