News

UK sales for 2013 surge to $5.6bn, bringing its corporation tax arrangements back into the spotlight

Editorial: Blame the tax loopholes

Chalk up another victory for the PR departments of the global investment banks. Some – including Goldman Sachs – are reportedly considering deferring bonuses for their UK staff until after 6 April to take advantage of the lower top rate of income tax. The prospect of too-big-to-fail banks using such a sly bit of avoidance to save their already over-remunerated staff a tax bill – and at the expense of the struggling British Exchequer – has understandably provoked disgust. Labour's Chris Leslie has warned them to "think carefully" about their reputations.

Editorial: An alarming spike in snooping

Few would dispute that the Government should work hard to pursue tax dodgers. And in such lean times as these, a crackdown can only be all the more welcome. After all, with nearly £7bn thought to be slipping through the net each year, there is much to be gained for the yawning public purse. But even so large a prize does not give the taxman carte blanche in his methods, and evidence of a sharp spike in snooping by the authorities is still cause for alarm, however worthy the cause.

Ignore the 50p tax rate grandstanding, its real effects are impossible to tell

The numbers we have simply don't stand up to scrutiny

Fears that taxman lacks resources to target evaders

The number of requests for information on individuals' tax affairs issued by the taxman has declined by 40 per cent, raising questions over whether HMRC is sufficiently resourced to clamp down on evasion and aggressive avoidance.

Fears that cuts are taking toll on taxman

The number of requests for information on individuals' tax affairs issued by the taxman has declined by 40 per cent, raising questions over whether HMRC is sufficiently resourced to clamp down on evasion and aggressive avoidance.

Whitehall's bid to save £50m, one paperclip at a time

Tax collectors have set up "swap shops" to redistribute surplus envelopes and briefcases. In one Whitehall outpost, staff are using ash from their bio-mass burner as garden fertiliser. Elsewhere, Home Office officials have taken to generating electricity from bootleg alcohol.

The Chancellor says the move could save the Treasury up to £2.5bn a year

Middle classes face 65% tax rate after child benefit squeeze

The Chancellor says the move could save the Treasury up to £2.5bn a year

Some find inner peace in champagne, others in filing a tax return

While most were topping up their glasses ready for a midnight toast, 160 Britons spent the hour after 11pm on New Year's Eve filing their tax return, according to HMRC.

Cleaners desperate for a pay rise left a note making their case on the Whitehall desk occupied during the day by Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary

Iain Duncan Smith launches scathing attack on tax credit abuse

More than £10 billion of public money has been lost in fraud and error under the tax credit system put in place by Labour, the Work and Pensions Secretary has claimed.

Starbucks is among companies criticised over their tax bill

Large companies paying less tax despite big increase in profits

Britain's biggest companies pay less tax now than they did 12 years ago, it was revealed today, while their profitability over that period has jumped.

The great HMRC telephone rip-off: Revenue's failure to answer the phone costs taxpayers £136m a year

Taxpayers are facing a bill of £136 million a year because of the inability of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs officials to answer the phone, a damning report from the Government’s spending watchdog will reveal tomorrow.

Failure of HMRC to answer the phone costs us £136m

Taxpayers are facing a bill of £136m a year because of the inability of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs officials to answer the phone, a damning report from the Government's spending watchdog reveals today.

Barclay brothers drawn into tax controversy over Ritz

A delayed Panorama investigation into the billionaire Barclay brothers will claim that London's Ritz hotel - one of the jewels in the crown of the twins' property portfolio – has not paid any corporation tax since it was acquired by them 17 years ago.

An investigation will claim that the Ritz hotel – owned by reclusive Channel island tycoons David and Frederick Barclay – has incurred no corporation tax since the pair acquired it in the mid-1990s

Barclay brothers drawn into tax controversy over Ritz investment

A delayed Panorama investigation into the billionaire Barclay brothers will claim that London's Ritz hotel – one of the jewels in the crown of the twins' property portfolio – has not paid any corporation tax since it was acquired by them 17 years ago.

The Prince's environmental values have been called into question

Prince Charles attacked over tax payments

Clarence House defended the Prince of Wales' financial arrangements today after he was reported to authorities over claims the Duchy of Cornwall is a "well entrenched tax avoidance scheme".

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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

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Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

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Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible