Great Video by UKUNCUT – Storming a Tax Conference to thank Dave Hartnett for letting big companies off their tax bills.
Comedy aside, this is a very serious issue – A recent report by the Public Accounts Committee accused HMRC of having a ‘far too cosy’ relationship with big firms, which are treated more favorably by HMRC than other taxpayers. HMRC’s own figures suggest that claims the total owned may be £25.5billion. By contrast, families and small businesses are treated much more harshly and forced to pay up.
In total, the report says, HMRC is seeking to resolve more than 2,700 issues with the biggest companies, with a potential tax at stake of £25.5billion. The £25.5billion is HMRC’s own ‘ballpark estimate’ of the maximum potential tax liabilities of big businesses
The sum owed by corporate giants is the equivalent of £1,000 for every British family, or the equivalent of everyone in the UK paying an extra 6p on the basic rate of income tax.
The report singled out HMRC head Dave Hartnett for criticism over his dealings with Goldman. Goldman Sachs had cut its UK tax bill cut in 2010 after a privately negotiated deal with HMRC allowed it to avoid paying interest payments on £30million back taxes it owed.
So what can the little guy do against this Corportacracy?
One thing UK Uncut are doing is to issue Formal legal proceedings against the Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on Thursday over allegations that it let the investment bank Goldman Sachs off paying up to £20m in outstanding tax.
The application for a judicial review, initiated by the campaign group UK Uncut Legal Action, will be lodged with the administrative court in London. The organisation has called for the government to crack down on tax avoidance by large corporations and the super-rich rather than pursue its “unnecessary austerity programme”.
Tim Street, director of UK Uncut Legal Action said: “There is overwhelming public support from unions, NGOs, MPs and thousands of ordinary people who want to see this dodgy tax deal challenged in the courts.
“It shows the deep level of outrage that people feel over state-sanctioned tax dodging by big business, while government destroys public services that ordinary people rely on, saying that there is no money.”
Street accused the government of “making a political choice to turn a blind eye” to what he views as a wider tax issue that costs the public purse £25bn a year and of “slashing public services and the support for the poorest instead of clamping down”.
If you want to help UKUNCUT in their legal challenge against Goldman Sachs – you can donate here –