Tackling Tax Avoidance

June 26, 2012 2:57 PM

It's time for Britain's wealthiest individuals and corporations to stop their shady tax avoidance schemes and pay their fair share like the rest of us, Tom Brake MP and other sponsors of new legislation in Parliament believe.

Tom Brake MP is proud to be a co-sponsor of Labour MP Michael Meacher's Private Member's Bill that would outlaw any financial transaction in which the primary purpose is tax avoidance or evasion. The Bill, introduced into the House of Commons last Thursday, shifts the burden of proof: rather than HM Revenues & Customs proving that a suspected evasion was illegitimate, the new system would place the onus on a suspected tax cheat to prove that a given transaction was legitimate. Under the new legislation, HMRC would have the power to declare a dubious transaction null and void, leaving the company to challenge it in court.

"We must stop those citizens and corporations who have the means but not the inclination to fulfill their financial obligations during their responsibilities. If we are all in this together, they must cough up their fair share of taxes," Tom said.

Tax avoidance schemes have grown in infamy during the past week, with revelations of high profile tax avoiders associated with an international income shelter plan known as "K2." Some estimates put the loss of revenue due to tax avoidance as high as £42 billion.

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