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Tax policy and developing countries – a 2016 update

I’ve been having a number of discussions about how successful the OECD project on Tax and Development has been and the challenges it faces. It was clear from inception that the inherent challenge in the project is that the interests of developed countries do not coincide with those of developing countries in many policy areas. […]

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Tax transparency and UK politicians – the need for simplification and clear policy

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of activity and opinion on transparency for UK politicians as a result of the fall out from the Panama papers. A number of senior politicians have published their tax returns. Much of the comment about the Prime Minister’s tax returns and the Inheritance tax liabilities of bequests […]

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Tax and HNWI

The British General Election saw a plethora of proposals to raise more taxation from the “rich” which is not surprising given the atmosphere of austerity. Some of the proposals were poorly thought out in how they interacted the rest of the tax system – the Green’s proposal for a wealth tax would have (combined with […]

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Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Tax

I am very pleased to have been asked to act as an expert on the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Tax which held its first meeting on 18 March in New York. The aim of the Commission is “ICRICT has been established by a broad coalition of civil society and labor organizations, […]

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Paying and Praying – Morality and Taxation

  My children have attended the local state primary school in London which is a church school. It became clear early on that there were a limited number of local children at the school because a large proportion of places are allocated based on church attendance in the parish rather than residence therein. One of […]

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“Wise birds don’t tweet” – or twitter

  I had a very interesting conversation with a Swiss professor which led me to rethink how we have got to where we are on social media, tax transparency and politics  and some related issues. We talked about the genesis of transparency as an issue in tax over the period from the  1980s until now. […]

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Diverted Profits Tax – Centre for Business Taxation

I had the pleasure of attending this conference on Tuesday 13th January, which was as usual well planned and organised by the CBT. It was a fascinating couple of hours as much for what was not said as for what was. A number of speakers quoted to support their case, but I felt I was […]

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The UK’s New tax on “diverted profits” – some issues for business

The UK is consulting on the provisions of a new provision to tax diverted profits with effect from 1 April 2015. It is worth quoting the description in full: “The diverted profits tax is a new charge on diverted profits. The main objective is to counteract contrived arrangements used by large groups (typically multinational enterprises) […]

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A “Google tax” or are royalty arrangements “artificial avoidance”?

The Autumn Statement in the UK on 3 December saw the announcement of a “Google Tax” to come into effect on 1 April 2015 (no it’s not a joke). Details are sketchy but its described as “25% tax on profits generated by multinationals that are shifted out of the UK”. I thought I would put […]

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Luxembourg tax rulings and the EC Commissioner

The coverage of Mr Juncker’s suitability for a lead role in the BEPS project has been fascinating during the G20 summit in Brisbane. In my blog of 30 June, I ended it by saying: “This isn’t a poacher turned gamekeeper, it looks more like the poacher in charge of the gamekeepers.” A number of politicians […]

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