Shell company owners 'revealed'

A register of the true owners of shadowy shell companies will be made public as part of the fight against tax dodgers, David Cameron is set to announce today.

Labour: PM 'needs to go much further' on tax avoidance

Shadow treasury minister Shabana Mahmood said Prime Minister David Cameron "needs to go much further to tackle tax avoidance".

Ms Mahmood continued: "With the amount of uncollected tax rising in the last year to £35 billion, it's clear this Government is failing.

Money stacked up.
Labour said the Prime Minister 'needs to go much further to tackle tax avoidance'. Credit: REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

"David Cameron needs to explain why he decided not to close down the eurobonds tax loophole and why his Swiss tax deal has raised a fraction of the money promised.

"The Government should also be doing more to open up tax havens and extend the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes regime, which Labour introduced, to global transactions."

Institute of Directors supports shell companies plan

The Institute of Directors has supported the Government's efforts to "shine a light" on shell companies.

Roger Barker, director of corporate governance and professional standards at the institute, said:

From a governance perspective, it is right that the true owners of companies should be transparent both to the company itself and the wider business community.

Using the corporate veil to obscure underlying ownership brings the corporate sector into disrepute and creates significant opportunities for wrongdoing or criminal activity.

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Government to 'shine a spotlight' on shell companies

Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to say the Government needs to "shine a spotlight" on shadowy shell companies to find "where money is really flowing".

"For too long a small minority have hidden their business dealings behind a complicated web of shell companies - and this cloak of secrecy has fuelled all manner of questionable practice and downright illegality," Mr Cameron will tell the Open Government Partnership summit in London.

Two men's shadows.
David Cameron will say the Government needs to "shine a spotlight" on shadowy shell companies . Credit: Maurizio Gambarini/DPA/Press Association Images

He continues: "Illegality that is bad for the developing world - as corrupt regimes stash their money abroad under different identities. And illegality that is bad for Britain's economy too - as people evade their taxes through untraceable trails of paperwork.

"Not only is this hugely unfair to the millions of hard-working people in Britain who pay their tax but it's also bad for business. To keep corporate taxes low, you've got to keep corporate taxes coming in. As I've put it, no tax base - no low tax case."

Shell company owners to be revealed

A register of the true owners of shadowy shell companies will be made public as part of the fight against tax dodgers, David Cameron is set to announce today.

The Prime Minister will say that the "cloak of secrecy" around company ownership had resulted in "questionable practice and downright illegality".

Prime Minister David Cameron.
Prime Minister David Cameron will make the announcement later today.

Mr Cameron, who made tax transparency a key theme of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, will urge other world leaders to build on the commitments made at Lough Erne.

He will promise a "relentless" pursuit of businesses that break the rules and claim that by making the register public it will be easier for firms and developing countries to see who they are really dealing with.