THE TOWN THAT TOOK ON THE TAXMAN

The Town That Took On The Taxman
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THE TOWN THAT TOOK ON THE TAXMAN



Written by Dont Panic
20 Wednesday 20th January 2016

 

One of the most pressing contemporary issues is corporate tax arrangements. Through a range of methods - such as relocating to tax havens, exploiting arcane loopholes, cutting sweetheart deals with the authorities and many more - huge companies like Facebook, Google and Caffé Nero have severely reduced their UK tax liabities. This is turn creates substantial problems for funding public services and creates an unequal playing ground for businesses to compete, when smaller firms fork out much more than their international competitors. And now, some people have decided to fight back.

Steve Lewis, a business owner in the Welsh village of Crickhowell, has set up an offshore company similarly structured to less-tax-liable companies. With the help of tax advisors, plus assistance from presenter and our very own Heydon Prowse, Lewis attracts the attention of HMRC officials; they argue that business structures are kept track of, but it would be unfeasible to track numerous smaller businesses employing complex arrangements. 

Lewis encourages Crickwell to unite in a "fair tax" campaign - despite some local reluctance citing ethical concerns - and grow it into a national movement.

Heydon told us: "I get the impression the taxman may actually be feeling the heat from this tiny town. If they manage to build up enough support and pledges from other towns that they they too will go offshore, then the government will have to listen- or they stand to lose a lot of revenue."

The Town That Took On The Taxman is on tonight on BBC2 at 9PM. We will post a link here when it's on iPlayer.

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