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Institute of Directors: 'Tax system needs simplifying'

It is very frustrating for many companies who pay large tax bills that some multinationals are able to avoid doing so.

The solution must be simplifying the tax system, not simply hectoring from Westminster. If these firms are immoral to take advantage of tax loopholes, then politicians are surely immoral for creating the loopholes in the first place.

Taxes should be simpler to cut down on avoidance and relieve the burden our complex tax code puts on companies who do try to do the right thing.

– Director General of the Institute of Directors Simon Walker

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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.

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

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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."

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