Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil and Gas Correspondent
Tom's Feed
Jan 21, 2013

Taxman sees increased avoidance by big business

LONDON (Reuters) – The UK tax authority said the amount of tax that big companies may have underpaid by using artificial intercompany transactions to inappropriately reduce taxable profits has risen 48 percent last year.

The figure comes as public anger grows over tax avoidance by big businesses and British MPs investigate possible remedies.

Jan 20, 2013

Ethical investors step up focus on tax avoidance

LONDON (Reuters) – Growing anger at aggressive tax avoidance by big business has prompted ethical investors to consider shunning shares in companies that don’t pay their fair share of tax.

As governments struggle to balance massive budget deficits caused by the financial crisis, reports that big companies like Apple (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) pay minimal taxes in some big markets have sparked public protests in Europe and the United States.

Dec 27, 2012

Special Report: How the UK tax authority got cozy with big business

LONDON (Reuters) – For Ian Barlow, Britain’s tax authority has gone from being fearsome to being really rather nice.

In the 1990s, when the accountant was head of UK taxation for KPMG, he argued Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) was creating an “increasingly fierce environment” for corporations. But last month, Barlow, 61, said senior American business executives found the UK taxman’s approach “refreshing.”

Dec 27, 2012

Exclusive: Profits up, but Britain gets less tax from big firms

LONDON (Reuters) – Big companies in Britain now pay less tax than they did 12 years ago despite a big jump in profitability, a Reuters analysis of official data shows. Tax campaigners say the trend is the clearest signal yet that tax avoidance has blossomed under a more business-friendly strategy at the UK tax authority Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Large companies’ payments of corporation tax – the UK equivalent of corporate income tax – totaled 21 billion pounds ($34 billion) in 2011/12, HMRC data shows. That was down five billion pounds or 21 percent since 2000/01 when the government, then controlled by the Labour Party, took the first steps towards a more collaborative approach to big business.

Dec 27, 2012

Profits up, but Britain gets less tax from big firms

LONDON, Dec 27 (Reuters) – Big companies in Britain now pay
less tax than they did 12 years ago despite a big jump in
profitability, a Reuters analysis of official data shows. Tax
campaigners say the trend is the clearest signal yet that tax
avoidance has blossomed under a more business-friendly strategy
at the UK tax authority Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
(HMRC).

Large companies’ payments of corporation tax – the UK
equivalent of corporate income tax – totaled 21 billion pounds
($34 billion) in 2011/12, HMRC data shows. That was down five
billion pounds or 21 percent since 2000/01 when the government,
then controlled by the Labour Party, took the first steps
towards a more collaborative approach to big business.

Dec 6, 2012

Amazon’s billion-dollar tax shield

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – In 2005, Amazon rented a historic five-storey building in Luxembourg’s Grund quarter, right at the bottom of a steep rock-walled valley below the old town.

By setting up in Luxembourg, and channelling sales through its units there, the world’s biggest online retailer could minimise corporate taxes.

Dec 6, 2012

Special Report: Amazon’s billion-dollar tax shield

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – In 2005, Amazon rented a historic five-storey building in Luxembourg’s Grund quarter, right at the bottom of a steep rock-walled valley below the old town.

By setting up in Luxembourg, and channelling sales through its units there, the world’s biggest online retailer could minimize corporate taxes.

Dec 3, 2012

Gabon seeks tougher terms from oil companies

LONDON, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Gabon is seeking to squeeze more
money out of foreign oil companies operating in the country,
executives say, potentially damping enthusiasm for a
long-awaited deepwater licensing round due next year.

The move mirrors similar steps by resource-rich nations
around the world over the past decade, when countries such as
Kazakhstan or Venezuela clawed back projects or tightened the
terms for international companies as energy prices soared.

Dec 3, 2012

MPs call for tax crackdown on multinationals

LONDON (Reuters) – A committee of MPs has called on government to crack down on multinational companies that make substantial sales in Britain but pay little tax here, echoing demands from leaders across Europe for measures to tackle corporate tax avoidance.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said on Monday the government should set down rules limiting inter-company transactions that reduce companies’ tax bills, push for more transparency in company reporting on tax and work with other countries to limit profit-shifting across borders.

Dec 3, 2012

UK lawmakers call for tax crackdown on multinationals

LONDON, Dec 3 (Reuters) – A committee of UK lawmakers has
called on government to crack down on multinational companies
that make substantial sales in Britain but pay little tax here,
echoing demands from leaders across Europe for measures to
tackle corporate tax avoidance.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said on Monday the
government should set down rules limiting inter-company
transactions that reduce companies’ tax bills, push for more
transparency in company reporting on tax and work with other
countries to limit profit-shifting across borders.

    • 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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