Sunday, January 23, 2011

UK's top 20 companies have 1,000+ offshore subsidiaries

From the Mail on Sunday, which has been doing some excellent reporting on tax havens recently:
"When Barclays boss Bob Diamond confirmed that the bank had about 300 subsidiaries in tax havens there were gasps of dismay at a Treasury Select Committee hearing earlier this month."
"Few at the highly charged meeting would have believed such a vast network of offshore companies existed, potentially allowing the bank and its clients to avoid huge sums in tax. They would still be in the dark had MP Chuka Umunna not put the figure to Diamond in the first place.
But a Financial Mail investigation can reveal that Barclays' Byzantine structure is far from unusual. In fact it is more the tip of the iceberg as far as Britain's biggest companies are concerned. More than 1,000 subsidiaries in offshore tax havens are operated by Britain's 20 biggest companies alone."
The Mail continues:
At a time when we are told we are 'all in this together', many will want to know whether hard-working Britons are picking up the tab for tax unpaid by our biggest companies."
Indeed. The story, with all the details, is here. Hat tip: Offshore Watch.

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