Is the British tax regime a national embarrassment? Does Brexit offer an opportunity for British tax reform? Are multinationals paying their due? Is the threat of bad publicity already changing corporate behavior? Should accountants and lawyers be penalized for advising their clients on methods to legally avoid tax?
For the latest in our Answers On video series, these questions were considered by two tax experts: Dan Neidle, Partner of the Tax Division at international law firm, Clifford Chance and Laurence Kiddle, EMEA Managing Director of Tax & Accounting at Thomson Reuters.
Reuters Editor at Large, Axel Threlfall, asked the panel to consider recent comments made by the internationally renowned tax QC, David Goldberg at a live debate held by Thomson Reuters on tax havens. Mr. Goldberg’s comments included calling the UK’s tax regime a national “source of embarrassment”; he also defended multi-national companies who had been accused of controversial tax avoidance schemes and labeled government plans to penalize professionals who help companies limit their tax liability “unimaginable.”
Dan and Laurence considered the UK tax code, international comparisons and whether reform would be beneficial to the British economy, citing real experience gained on working with international clients.
Excerpts from the conversation can be seen below, with the full version available here.
International comparison of tax regimes and how the UK ranks in terms of complexity
Spoiler, the UK comes out quite well.
Does Brexit offer an opportunity to make the British tax code simpler?
And is there an appetite to make Britain a “Singapore off the coast of France?”
Penalizing lawyers for tax advice
How scared should they be for advising clients to take legal, but publicly controversial tax strategies?
Do multinationals get an unfair treatment?
Are international schemes like BEPS or the threat of bad publicity now actually altering corporate behavior and reporting?