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'Taxman's raid' of personal bank accounts criticised

Plans to allow the taxman to seize money directly from personal bank accounts have been criticised by an influential group of MPs.

The Commons Treasury Committee has expressed "considerable concern" over the Chancellor's debt collection proposals and called for further scrutiny.

General view of pound coins on HM Revenue & Customs forms. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

In their report on this year's Budget, the MPs suggested the change could amount to a back-door reintroduction of the discredited Crown Preference rule - which gave HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) priority access to assets when companies went bust.

Starbucks move 'ringing endorsement' of London

Starbucks' decision to move its European headquarters from the Netherlands to London is a "ringing endorsement" of the capital's business environment, according to the chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Colin Stanbridge.

This very positive move by Starbucks greatly reinforces London as a key global centre for business and a highly desirable location for firms to base their operations.

Creating the right environment for businesses to flourish is essential to London competing at an international level and we are delighted that Starbucks has given the capital a ringing endorsement.

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Starbucks 'will pay more tax in UK' after moving HQ

Coffee chain Starbucks says it will "pay more tax in the UK" in the future after opting to move its European headquarters from the Netherlands to London.

The company said the move would make it "better able to oversee the UK market".

Starbucks is moving its European headquarters from the Netherlands to the UK Credit: DPA DEUTSCHE PRESS-AGENTUR/DPA/Press Association Images

Starbucks has come under scrutiny over its tax affairs in the past, with the company telling a parliamentary committee in 2012 that it had not made a taxable profit for 14 of the 15 years it had been operating in the UK.

Osborne: 'No more safe havens for those evading tax'

Chancellor George Osborne told ITV News the government is introducing a new criminal offence for anyone who fails to declare their offshore income.

"The message is very simple. If you are hiding your money offshore, we are coming to get you," the Chancellor said.

ITV News correspondent Lewis Vaughan Jones reports:

At the moment officials must prove that a person holding income offshore intended to avoid paying tax - the proposed changes would mean they would only have to show the money was taxable.

Osborne promises 'biggest tax cuts in a generation'

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne during his visit to the National Graphene Insitute in Castleford, Manchester. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

British workers and businesses will this week benefit from biggest tax cuts in a generation, George Osborne will claim.

Measures including the rise in the income tax personal allowance to £10,000 and cuts in business taxes will be brought in over the coming days.

Tomorrow the corporation tax rate will be cut by 1% to 21% and reforms to business rates will be introduced. The annual investment allowance for firms will be doubled to £500,000.

The £10,000 income tax personal allowance comes into effect on Sunday, along with the employment allowance which cuts employers' National Insurance contributions by up to £2,000.

Giving a speech in Essex later today, Mr Osborne will say that Sunday will be "the culmination of this week that sees the biggest reduction of business and personal tax in two decades".

Lord Lamont: 40p rate 'catches not very well off'

Former Conservative Chancellor Lord Lamont has told ITV News George Osborne should raise the threshold at which workers pay 40% income tax.

He said that some the current threshold was meaning some "not very well off" workers such as teachers, nurses and train drivers are being "caught" by the higher rate.

Lord Lamont added that he hoped a pledge to raise the threshold would be included in the next Conservative Party manifesto.

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Osborne warns tax evaders: We are coming after them

George Osborne said the Government's latest clampdown on tax evasion`would make it very clear to people that if they do not pay their taxes then "we are coming after them".

The Chancellor said, "It is not fair for people to do that, it means that other people have to pay higher taxes and ultimately, as a society, we've all got to make a contribution."

UK targets offshore accounts in tax evasion clampdown

Chancellor George Osborne has announced a new clampdown on tax evasion targeting offshore account holders.

He warned that anyone who fails to declare all of their income will have to pay the tax itself as well as penalties of up to twice that sum, and they could even face imprisonment.

The HM Revenue and Customs campaign will be in magazines and newspapers on Monday. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Mr Osborne said: "We're throwing all the resources of the HMRC, our tax collectors, behind this. We'll be running adverts to give people fair warning that if they're hiding money offshore overseas that's not acceptable.

"We will find people - they have to pay their taxes and ultimately this is about fairness".

The new campaign will run in national newspapers and weekly magazines from tomorrow.

Boris Johnson repeats call for tax rate to be cut to 40p

London mayor Boris Johnson has repeated his call for the tax rate to be cut to 40p - and declined to rule out the possibility of it happening before the general election.

Earlier, the Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury - Danny Alexander - said the rate would be cut "over my dead body".

London Mayor Boris Johnson. Credit: Press Association

"The last thing I want to see is a pointless sacrifice from the Liberal Democrats, let alone the dead body of Danny Alexander," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"Sooner or later there will have to be a new Conservative manifesto and I can't believe we are going to go into an election on a campaign to keep our tax rates higher."

Asked if that meant he accepted it could not happen until after 2015, he said: "Who can say what will happen to Danny Alexander? Stranger things have happened at sea."I don't think that it is reasonable always to keep UK tax rates higher than those of competitor countries.

"UK income tax is now higher than the average in the EU. That never used to be the case. I don't see why it should be the case for the long term and I see no reason why we shouldn't bring it down."

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