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Businesses angry at 'unfair competition' in tax rules

A senior representative of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has said many businesses are angry at what they see as "two parallel tax systems" in the UK.

Answering a question on Google's tax settlement with the UK government, Dr Adam Marshall told ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills "there is still a long way to go until a lot of businesses feel that tax is a level playing field and there is no unfair competition out there".

There is certainly a sense of anger amongst many businesses over what they see as being two parallel tax systems.

One that applies to them and another that applies to a small number of global and often multinational companies who are often able to shift their profits around the world and conduct tax avoidance scheme.

– Dr Adam Marshall, BCC's Executive Director of Policy and External Affairs

The BCC's executive director of policy and external affairs added that there is a growing perception that "there is something not right in the system".

The British Chambers of Commerce represents thousands of businesses of all sizes and sectors, which altogether employ more than 5,000,000 people.

Reforms will 'make life difficult' for tax avoiders

UK promoters will be made to hand over customer databases under the proposals, allowing HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to formally warn clients directly about the deals they have signed up to and to work out how much tax they owe if the scheme fails.

Under the reforms, which will go out to consultation, a promoter who has been penalised for not abiding by the rules will also have to provide extra information to HMRC on all of their schemes, not just the one they were reprimanded for.

Treasury Minister David Gauke will tell the Policy Exchange:

We are building on the work we have already done to make life difficult for those who artificially and aggressively reduce their tax bill.

These schemes damage our ability to fund public services and provide support to those who need it. They harm businesses by distorting competition. They damage public confidence.

And they undermine the actions of the vast majority of taxpayers, who pay more in tax as a consequence of others enjoying a free ride.

– Treasury Minister David Gauke

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Tax avoidance promoters face crackdown

Promoters of aggressive tax avoidance schemes will be forced to disclose their client lists to inspectors under a new crackdown, the Government will announce today.

Think tank scheme operators will be "named and shamed" for sharp practice, Treasury Minister David Gauke will tell the Policy Exchange.

It follows a wave of revelations about the financial loopholes used by the rich and famous to legally side-step hefty tax bills.

Last month comedian Jimmy Carr admitted to making a "terrible error of judgment" after it emerged he was using a scheme to pay an income tax rate as low as 1%.