Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil and Gas Correspondent
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May 8, 2013

HMRC sees risk in changing corporate avoidance rules

LONDON (Reuters) – The UK’s tax authority has said international tax rules currently under review for failing to tackle tax avoidance can be of benefit to Britain and there are risks in changing them.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) says in a news briefing document the rules on transfer pricing – the method of pricing transactions between affiliates of a multinational group – allow UK groups to receive income from their overseas affiliates without tax being deducted at source. Such income can then be subject to UK tax.

May 8, 2013

UK tax authority sees risk in changing corporate avoidance rules

LONDON (Reuters) – The UK’s tax authority has said international tax rules currently under review for failing to tackle tax avoidance can be of benefit to Britain and there are risks in changing them.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) says in a new briefing document the rules on transfer pricing – the method of pricing transactions between affiliates of a multinational group – allow UK groups to receive income from their overseas affiliates without tax being deducted at source. Such income can then be subject to UK tax.

May 8, 2013

UK tax authority sees risk in changing corporate avoidance rules

LONDON (Reuters) – The UK’s tax authority has said international tax rules currently under review for failing to tackle tax avoidance can be of benefit to Britain and there are risks in changing them.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) says in a new briefing document the rules on transfer pricing – the method of pricing transactions between affiliates of a multinational group – allow UK groups to receive income from their overseas affiliates without tax being deducted at source. Such income can then be subject to UK tax.

May 7, 2013

French, German politicians to pressure Google on tax

LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) – Politicians in Germany and France
say they will press for Google to be quizzed on corporate income
tax after a Reuters report highlighted how the company employs
sales staff in the UK while telling the tax authorities that
sales are made from Ireland.

The report showed the company advertised for “sales” staff
to “negotiate” and “close” deals, although a Google executive
had told parliament its London-based employees did not sell to
UK clients. British lawmakers plan to call Google to testify
again to a parliamentary committee to clarify what work it does
in Britain.

May 3, 2013

Clients question Google’s UK tax status-poll

LONDON, May 3 (Reuters) – Some of Google’s clients have
questioned its assertion that it does not sell to customers from
its London office, a key plank in its ability to operate almost
tax-free in Britain, a poll said on Friday.

The Drum, a magazine for marketing professionals, asked 80
ad buyers and digital agencies — companies which purchase
advertising products on behalf of clients — about their
dealings with Google’s London office and their interaction with
the office in Dublin.

May 1, 2013

Britain to quiz Google and auditor again on taxes

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) – Executives from Google Inc
and its auditor, Ernst & Young, will again be called
before a British parliament committee to testify on taxes, after
a Reuters investigation highlighted inconsistencies in the way
Google portrays its activities in Britain, the committee’s
chairwoman told Reuters.

Margaret Hodge, head of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC),
which is tasked with ensuring value in government financial
affairs, said she would summon the companies’ representatives to
explain previous comments to the committee in light of the
report. The investigation found that while Google executive Matt
Brittin said Google doesn’t make sales to UK customers from the
UK, some of its staff and UK customers think it does.

May 1, 2013

How Google UK clouds its tax liabilities

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) – In November 2012, Google’s vice
president for Northern and Central Europe was called to an
oak-panelled conference room overlooking the Thames to testify
to a parliamentary committee about how companies like his reap
billions in revenue in Britain but pay very little corporate
income tax.

Matt Brittin, dressed in a fitted blue suit and open-necked
white shirt, smiled confidently as he explained that Google Inc.
was not liable for taxation on British sales because these were
all handled from its European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.
“Nobody (in the UK) is selling,” Brittin told the Public
Accounts Committee (PAC).

May 1, 2013

Special Report: How Google UK clouds its tax liabilities

LONDON (Reuters) – In November 2012, Google’s Vice President for Northern and Central Europe was called to an oak-paneled conference room overlooking the Thames to testify to a parliamentary committee about how firms like his reap billions in revenue in Britain but pay very little corporate income tax.

Matt Brittin, dressed in a fitted blue suit and open-necked white shirt, smiled confidently as he explained that Google Inc. wasn’t liable for taxation on UK sales because these were all handled from its European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. “Nobody (in the UK) is selling,” Brittin told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

May 1, 2013

Exclusive: Britain to quiz Google and auditor again on tax

LONDON (Reuters) – Executives from Google Inc. and its auditor Ernst & Young will be called again to a British parliament committee to testify on tax, after a Reuters investigation highlighted inconsistencies in the way Google portrays its activities in Britain, the committee’s chairwoman told Reuters.

Margaret Hodge, head of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which is tasked with ensuring value in government financial affairs, said she would summon the companies’ representatives to explain previous comments to the committee in light of the report. The investigation found that while Google executive Matt Brittin said Google doesn’t make sales to UK customers from the UK, some of its staff and UK customers think it does.

Apr 25, 2013

MPs criticize accounting firms on tax avoidance

LONDON (Reuters) – MPs criticised the role of accounting firms in helping big companies avoid paying tax and said in a report on Friday that close corporate relationships with government raised concerns about undue influence on tax policy.

Corporate tax avoidance has risen to the top of the political agenda in Britain in the past year following reports which showed some major companies paid little or no tax in the country by shifting profits to tax havens.

    • About Tom

      "Tom leads our coverage of the oil and gas industry in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and is also author of 'Spills & Spin: The Inside Story of BP'. A former oil broker who turned to journalism 12 years ago, he is regularly interviewed on CNBC and other TV and radio stations on energy matters. Tom has reported from over twenty countries including Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Tanzania, the U.S. and Russia. As Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil & Gas Correspondent, he has chartered the rise in oil prices to record levels, interviewed oil ministers and the CEOs of ..."
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