Friday, 26 April 2013


Letter to the Guardian Newspaper, 26th April 2013  

There are huge amounts of revenue and capital, enough to recapitalise Britain, at stake when tax-planners and government tax-officers swap roles through the revolving door (Inside knowledge lets rich off tax hook, says MPs’ report – Guardian 26 April 2013)

UK Uncut and others have protested about the infamous Vodafone-John Connors-&-ex-Head of HMRC Dave Hartnett’s extraordinary deal. Incredibly, disgraced Hartnett is now a star tax-planner in the private sector. HMRC’s website lists its non-exec directors, who all hold or held senior corporate posts: Ian Barlow Head of KPMG, Colin Tobain CIO Tesco, Phillipa Hird ITV& Granada, Volker Becker NPower, Walter Pickavance Morrisons, John Whiting Tax partner Price Waterhouse. There are many more KPMG partners, Lawyers, Bankers and other City and Corporate figures, embedded in influential government tax and finance positions. While these individuals may be above criticism, statistically their companies are very likely to be involved in Tax-Avoidance schemes.

New April 2013 rules, GARR*, re-define elaborate tax-avoidance as illegal and remind UK Courts of the existing international four conditions to curb overstated Transfer Pricing, Royalties, Interest, Dividends, Management Fees and all such ENRON accounting, which is required to gouge capital – with tax relief – from our High Streets to tax-havens. These long established laws insist that transactions must be (1) on Normal Commercial Terms (2) At Arms Length (3) Wholly Necessary for the business, and (4) Not Primarily for Tax Reduction.
When these rules are retrospectively applied to the $3 trillion (7 million jobs) transferred from the UK since 1980 to tax-havens – the tax clients’ directors, executives, bookkeepers and their professional advisers will almost certainly have to bear huge costs and may be charged with false accounting and fraudulent conspiracy**. With an estimated global $32 trillion in tax-havens (Ex-McKinsey Partner 2013), such retrospective fraud cases are unavoidable; if not initiated by the shy and reticent UK, then by the EU and USA. To have any hint that the revolving-door planners and executors are also the interpreters, juries and judges of their firms’ and friends’ machinations is dangerous to the rule of law and to the World economy.  The present “austerity” policy is ridiculous. Instead the $32 trillion must be clawed back to the nations of origin and invested in our grandchildren’s futures.

** Tax fraud – 8 years jail for USA lawyers.  I SAY AVOIDANCE - YOU SAY EVASION

(Mr) Noel Hodson, Oxford, UK

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