CIoT chief 'warns government over taxation'

Daniel Horton our consultant managing the role

Taxation is a thorny issue in the UK at the moment as various politicians have indicated a willingness to get tough on multinationals.

Both the prime minister David Cameron and leader of the opposition Ed Miliband want to force this issue and ensure global companies are paying tax in the UK if they are making money in the country.

It comes after Starbucks, Google and Amazon were all condemned for their current tax arrangements, which allow the groups to funnel their UK profits through other countries that offer better rates.

However, the newly-appointed president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIoT) Stephen Coleclough has warned those in power about their current approach to Europe, labelling it as "slapdash".

Mr Coleclough - who was president of the pan-European body for tax professionals CFE before taking up his position with CIoT - used his inaugural speech to urge the government to be "more serious [and] grown-up" when it comes to complying with EU tax law.

"Too often the UK government acts too late or does too little and fails in its responsibilities," he added, pointing to the finance bill currently working its way through parliament as an example of this.

"This slapdash approach to complying with rules that we help set, and which help ensure that the single market can operate fairly, is failing UK taxpayers. It needs to change," Mr Coleclough concluded.

His comments came after global investment firm Goldman Sachs stated there will only be losers if the UK does exit Europe. Kevin Daly, part of the investment bank's economic team, said there is going to be a high economic cost associated with departing the EU.

At the moment, trade with the other 26 members of the EU accounts for 16 per cent of UK GDP, which underlines just how reliant the nation is on its European counterparts. While accepting that the EU is also going to suffer from any change in the relationship, Mr Daly still thinks the UK will come off worse in the long run.

11/04/16
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