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3rd Dec 2012 9:10am | By Editor
A damning report has criticised HM Revenue & Customs for leniency in dealing with some of the biggest multinational corporations operating in the UK.
Amazon, Google and Starbucks have been accused of an "immoral" use of secretive jurisdictions, royalties and complex company structures to avoid paying tax on British profits by a committee of MPs, reports The Guardian
The Commons public accounts committee (PAC), the parliamentary spending watchdog, has called on the government to draw up laws to close loopholes and name and shame companies that fail to pay their fair share.
The report's release followed a humiliating parliamentary session for the three multinationals' executives and after receiving widespread criticism of the coffee chain's tax regime, Starbucks announced that it is reviewing its tax approach to Britain with a view to paying more.
Margaret Hodge, the chair of the PAC, said its report showed that corporations had been allowed to get away with "ripping off" taxpayers because of a weak tax authority, poor legislation and a lack of international co-operation.
"Global corporations with huge operations in the UK generating significant amounts of income are getting away with paying little or no corporation tax here. This is an insult to British business and individuals who pay their fair share.
"Corporation tax revenues have fallen at a time when securing proper income from taxes is more vital than ever.
"The inescapable conclusion is that multinationals are using structures and exploiting current tax legislation to move offshore profits that are clearly generated from economic activity in the UK," she said.
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