I am sure you have seen in the press lately the articles regarding the tax that is paid by large international organisations such as Google, Facebook, Starbucks etc. As you are probably aware UK Tax Law is extremely complicated and that is why global businesses as mentioned above use the likes of ‘Big 6’ firms of accountants to ensure that they pay the ‘right amount of tax’. Is it fair that these big multi-nationals can arrange their tax affairs in such a way by using tax avoidance structures and long negotiations with the Inland Revenue ? In contrast, none of the 870,000 ordinary UK tax payers who will be issued with a £100 late filing penalty, due to missing the 31 January 2016 self assessment filing deadline, will be able to negotiate with the Inland Revenue. What is extremely harsh in this situation is that even if there is no tax to pay the £100 penalty will remain. In addition to this, if the tax return is still not filed by 30 April 2016, penalties of £10 per day will be added up to a maximum of £900. This is expected to raise £87 million for the Inland Revenue this year, not quite Google’s tax bill, and these penalties will not be waived except in exceptional circumstances. Is this a fair taxation system???
Julia Harrison Tax Manager www.torrwaterfield.co.uk