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Downing St: Consumer boycott 'an issue for individuals'

Asked whether David Cameron would back calls for a consumer boycott of firms which avoid tax, the Prime Minister's official spokesman told a regular Westminster media briefing:

The issue for Government is how we tackle that tax avoidance, and the Treasury have been setting out what we intend to do today.

What we have to do in Government is make sure we are tackling that kind of aggressive tax avoidance. We are doing that in a number of ways. We are bringing in a general anti-avoidance rule, we are working with other countries.

The question of a boycott was "an issue for individuals", the spokesman said.

Clearly, we think that all companies should make a fair contribution to taxes and clearly that's a view that is shared by taxpayers and consumers.

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HMRC defends tax avoidance procedures

HMRC ensures that multinationals pay the tax due in accordance with UK tax law.

We have been very successful in reducing tax avoidance by large businesses in recent years.

We relentlessly challenge those that persist in avoiding tax and have recovered £29bn additional revenues from large businesses in the last six years, including £4.1bn in the last four years from transfer pricing enquiries alone.

These figures speak for themselves.

Corporation tax receipts are dependent on the wider economy and the corporation tax rate set by Parliament, which was reduced by 2 percentage points for 2011-12.

– HMRC spokesman

Margaret Hodge: 'Press helped uncover tax dodgers'

Public Accounts Committee chair Margaret Hodge, has today paid tribute to the role of the press in uncovering the big-name multi-nationals as tax dodgers.

Speaking to Daybreak she said: "[In the wake of the Levenson Inquiry] this was investigative journalism that found out what was happening with Starbucks, Google and Amazon.

"We took that up and exploited it."

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PAC: 'HMRC undermined tax system'

The PAC have criticised HMRC for undermining the system because it was "selective" in its prosecutions and warned smaller companies could feel victimised.

Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee has called for companies that abused the system to be "named and shamed".

Public Accounts Committee chair Margaret Hodge Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

She added: "HMRC should be challenging this but its response so far to these big businesses and their aggressive tax planning has lacked determination and looks way too lenient. Policing the tax system must be at the heart of what HMRC does.

"It must be more aggressive and assertive in confronting corporate tax avoidance. This is essential for the credibility of both the Department and the tax system.

"Confidence in our tax system can only be maintained if every company and every individual is seen to be paying their fair share. That requires HMRC to act firmly now."

Google attacked by MPs over tax avoidance

Google has been accused of not paying enough tax Credit: Martin Keene/PA Wire

The report said Google accepted profits should be taxed in the countries where they are generated but "undermined its own argument" because it remits its non-USA profits, including from the UK, to Bermuda, which has an advantageous tax regime.

Google is facing a review of its tax affairs by revenue and customs officials that could land it with a big bill.

MPs hit out at 'evasive' Amazon

MPs rounded on Amazon's representative saying they were left frustrated because he was "evasive and unprepared to answer legitimate questions".

Amazon reported a turnover of £207m Credit: Reuters

While the company had a UK operation involving 15,000 staff it pays little corporation tax in the UK.

It said the company's UK website reported a turnover of £207 million for 2011 but its tax expense was just £1.8 million.

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