have published the following wrt tax, evasion, avoidance, jammy dodgers, Starbucks and all other things that dogwhistle politicians seem to hate at the moment etc etc.
Out of interest does anyone really believe that the £77M that Beaker Alexander is puffing himself up over is new money outwith HMRC's budget, or simply being skimmed from other parts of HMRC's existing budget?
Oh and here is some Wiki
background on Beaker:
" the Daily Telegraph newspaper published front-page allegations that Alexander had exploited a legal loophole to avoid the payment of capital gains tax
on a property he had sold in 2007 alleging that he had profited from a
"morally dubious" loophole to avoid paying capital gains tax. A few days
earlier, the same newspaper had caused the resignation of Alexander's
predecessor David Laws
after finding irregularities in his expenses claims.
suggested that "the fact that Mr Alexander has become the second Lib Dem
to face questions about his finances within three days has focused
attention on whether the party leadership has properly audited the
financial activities of its senior figures".
Alexander had bought the property, a London flat, in 1999 and, after
being elected to parliament for a Scottish constituency in 2005,
designated the property as his "second home" while claiming that his
first home was now in his constituency. The property was then sold in
2007 for a profit on which he paid no capital gains tax. As the property was the only one he owned, up until 2006, HM Revenue and Customs
rules meant that capital gains tax was not payable as should someone
find a buyer for their home within three years the property qualifies
for relief from [capital gains tax] as long as the property has been the
only or main home at some point.
Speaking at the time Alexander said "I
have always listed London as my second home on the basis set out in the
parliamentary rules as I spent more time in Scotland than I did in
London." The Daily Telegraph itself claimed that "there is no suggestion that Mr Alexander has actually broken any tax laws"
Full text as follows:
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and the Chief
Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, have today announced new
action to clamp down on tax dodgers.
The action comes ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on Wednesday, and includes;
- New £77m funding for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in
this Spending Review period to expand their anti-avoidance and evasion
activity, specifically those focusing on offshore evasion and avoidance
by wealthy individuals and by multinationals. This is expected to bring
in an additional £2bn per year in tax that would have otherwise gone
- A groundbreaking agreement with the US, the first of its
kind anywhere, that will significantly increase the amount of
information on potentially taxable income automatically exchanged
between both countries and further enhance HMRC’s ability to tackle
offshore evasion. This sets a new standard in international tax
transparency aimed at tackling tax evasion and the Government will look
to conclude similar agreements with other jurisdictions;
- Steps to close the net on the marketers of aggressive tax
avoidance schemes, including the introduction of new information
disclosure rules and HMRC sanctions for the ‘cowboy’ advisers who sell
HMRC is also publishing Closing in on Tax Evasion: HMRC’s
approach, which sets out HMRC’s current approach to tax evasion,
particularly their use of third party data. Building on this work and a
new ‘centre of excellence’ for offshore evasion within HMRC, the
department will develop a comprehensive strategy for tackling offshore
evasion to be published in spring 2013.
The Chancellor said:
“The Government is clear that while most taxpayers are doing
their bit to help us balance the books, it is unacceptable for a
minority to avoid paying their fair share, sometimes by breaking the
law. We are determined to tackle this problem and HMRC are making good
progress, but we are giving them additional tools to bring in more. The
action we are announcing today will help HMRC close in not only on
those who seek to avoid or evade tax, but on the dubious ‘cowboy’
advisers who sell them the schemes and dodges they use to cheat the
The Chief Secretary said:
“In restoring the public finances, our first priority must be
to tackle those who avoid or evade tax. It is simply not fair that at a
time when most people are making a contribution to balancing the
nation’s books, there is a small minority of taxpayers who try to escape
their responsibility. We are therefore investing additional resources
into the department so that it can step up its fight against tax dodgers
and bring in an extra £2bn per year by 2014/15.”
The HMRC investment package will fund specific activity, including;
- Bringing in more people and additional legal support to
speed up HMRC’s work to identify and challenge multinationals’ transfer
pricing arrangements and further strengthen their risk assessment
capability across the large business sector. This will help to ensure
that multinationals do not shift profits out of the UK and therefore pay
the tax due in accordance with UK tax law;
- Expanding HMRC’s Affluent Unit with 100 extra
investigators and additional risk and intelligence staff to target
avoidance and evasion by the wealthy;
- Increasing the number of specialist personal tax
inspectors to tackle offshore evasion and avoidance of inheritance tax
using offshore trusts, bank accounts and other entities, focusing in
particular on the agents and tax intermediaries involved;
- A new ‘centre of excellence’ within HMRC to bring together
and enhance its expertise in tackling offshore evasion. The team will
be made up of HMRC staff and external experts who will look at how HMRC
can best use data to identify offshore tax evasion, review HMRC’s legal
powers and work with other tax administrations to close the net on
- Improving HMRC’s CONNECT computer system so that the
department is able to better identify areas of compliance risk. This
will allow HMRC to act swiftly in identifying and investigating
- Increase capacity to tackle aggressive avoidance schemes,
including long-running cases involving partnership losses by creating a
settlement opportunity that offers a good deal to the Exchequer and
proceed more quickly to litigation for cases HMRC does not settle.
The Government is also today announcing steps to move against
‘cowboy’ tax advisers who sell contrived and aggressive tax avoidance
schemes to tax dodgers. Following a consultation over the summer on
this issue, the Government will;
- Consult on proposals to introduce significant new
information disclosure and penalty powers to make it more difficult for
the marketers of abusive schemes to continue to promote them in the
- Strengthen the existing Disclosure of Tax Avoidance
Schemes (DOTAS) regime in order to improve the information HMRC obtains
about avoidance schemes and the people who use them and widen the range
of schemes required to be disclosed. The Government will legislate in
2013 to extend the range of information that must be disclosed to HMRC
and impose additional sanctions for non-compliance;
- The Chancellor will announce further action to close
specific tax avoidance loopholes on Wednesday when setting out his
Notes for Editors
1. Over this Parliament, taken together with the Spending
Review 2010 reinvestment, the Government will have reinvested around
£1bn in HMRC and expects them to deliver an additional £22bn in 14/15,
£9bn more a year than in 10/11.
2. The UK-US Agreement to Improve International Tax Compliance
and to Implement FATCA is an enhanced automatic tax information
exchange agreement which sets a new standard in international tax
transparency and strengthens HMRC’s ability to tackle offshore evasion.
3. In December 2010, the Government asked Graham Aaronson QC
to lead a study that would consider whether a General Anti-Abuse Rule
(GAAR) could deter and counter abusive tax avoidance, while providing
certainty, retaining a tax regime that is attractive to businesses, and
minimising costs for taxpayers and HMRC. At Budget 2012 the Chancellor
announced that the Government would introduce a GAAR and legislate for
it in Finance Bill 2013.
4. The Government published Lifting the Lid on Tax Avoidance Schemes
in July 2012. The consultation proposed ideas for action to tackle the
promoters of contrived and aggressive tax avoidance schemes. The
Government’s response to the consultation will be published later this
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