Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Tax Evaders

Britain’s richest man, the Brexit supporter Sir Jim Ratcliffe, and two of his key lieutenants at chemicals firm Ineos have reportedly been planning to save up to £4bn in tax after moving to Monaco.

The company, which is valued at about £35bn, is working with tax experts at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to create a new structure for the business to dramatically reduce the tax paid on its global revenues, according to the Sunday Times.

Ratcliffe, who has lobbied to weaken green taxes and reduce restrictions on fracking, owns 60% of Ineos, which made profits of more than £2.2bn last year and employs 18,500 people. His top two lieutenants at Ineos, Andy Currie and John Reece, each own 20% of the company worth £7bn and were also reported to be moving to Monaco and involved in the tax avoidance plan.
Prem Sikka, a professor of accounting and finance at the University of Sheffield, said Ineos could employ a range of structures to reduce tax such as diverting dividends to Monaco, where they would not be liable for UK tax, to schemes in which inter-company loans or royalty fees reduced the profits of the UK-based business, diverting cash to offshore tax havens.

 “There are numerous possibilities for shifting profits and Ineos is no stranger to these things,” he said. In 2010, Ratcliffe moved Ineos’s official head office to Switzerland for six years after a row with the government over tax.

1 comment:

Tim Hart said...

Propaganda (the insidious, disingenuous kind, not the straightforward advocating of socialism as an alternative to the madness of our current capitalist world) takes many forms and has multiple layers. This piece in the Guardian illustrates the potential of propaganda to mislead by falsely representing the antics of these delinquent owners of Inios as somehow exceptional and thus newsworthy; whereas in fact it is the norm. Such psychopathic behaviour is hard-wired into capitalism, with an emblematic role for the corporation; the limited liability company which is treated in law as a person, but has none of the moral apparatus of a human being that would moderate its anti-social behaviour. The corporate overseers are infected with a similar moral hiatus by virtue of the imperative to maximise profit at any cost to our society. The perversity of the capitalist system is that these business owners would be castigated for a dereliction in their duty if they were not pursuing such an objective; despite the fact that by depriving a jurisdiction of tax revenues they will be killing thousands of additional people through the further reduced provision of health and social care etc. The Guardian newspaper is adept at presenting itself as ‘the intelligent man’s resistance’ with what it regards as ‘serious and challenging reporting’ but which in fact creates a soporific effect on its readership in lulling them into the mentality that everything should be politely reasoned in a civilised manner compatible with the myth that we live in a plural society operating within in a democratic framework. If the Guardian (or the BBC which operates under a similar mindset) were serious in their acclaimed mission they would list the thousands of psychopathic corporate executives, many among their own ranks and call out capitalism for the death cult that it is, in order to bring it to a swift demise, before it leads to the demise of all of us.