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Tax Planning - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  • September 2014
  • -
  • MarketLine
  • -
  • 24 pages

Introduction

Outrage in the press can cause confusion about the process of tax planning. The nuanced relationship between the spirit and the letter of the law, and wider issues such as the conflict between disparate national tax systems and competitive international trade are therefore often missed. This report gives detailed examples of tax planning involving both multinationals and private individuals.

Scope of this research
This report analyses taxation in the context of international trade, international law and international business.
A review is made of multinational tax planning arrangements, providing an explanation of the major issues of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting.
Specific examples of corporate and individual tax planning arrangements are given, from a UK perspective.
An analysis of the spirit and the letter of the law is included to provide further context in relation to tax planning arrangements.

Research and analysis highlights

International tax treaties have not kept pace with developments in national tax laws. An unintended consequence of the free movement of capital and labor, giving rise to multinational corporations, has been the ability to take advantage of this lack of coherence in national legal systems.

Ugland House, a single building in the Cayman Islands, is the registered office for nearly 19,000 corporations. This type of concentration is likely to change once the OECD makes its final recommendations about changes to international tax law.

Tax planning sits on a complex continuum running from the simple application of commonly known reliefs such as the creation of a tax free savings account, all the way to the creation of multiple entities across numerous borders to carry out a particular transaction.

Key reasons to purchase this research
Why have issues around the tax planning arrangements of multinational corporations arisen?
How is tax planning carried out?
How does the nature of tax law affect companies and individuals?
What changes can be expected in terms of the way companies operate with respect to their tax arrangements?

Table Of Contents

Tax Planning - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Overview 2
Catalyst 2
Summary 2
Taxation in Context 6
International Political Economy 6
International trade 6
International tax law 7
International business 7
Multinational Corporations 8
Operating in a competitive world 8
Multinational Tax Planning - Base Erosion and Profit Shifting 8
Consequences 9
National Corporations - a UK Perspective 10
The UK tax system - a brief introduction 10
Corporate Tax Planning in the UK 10
Individuals - a UK Perspective 14
Privacy and Wealth 14
The tax planning continuum 14
Identity and information protection 14
Wealth retention 15
The Spirit and Letter of the Law 17
Fair Share vs. Legal Share 17
Case and Statutory Law 17
HMRC powers 17
Conclusions 19
A continually changing complex continuum 19
Appendix 20
Definitions 20
Sources 20
Further Reading 22
Ask the analyst 23
About MarketLine 23
Disclaimer 23

LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Corporation tax rates of OECD member countries - highest rate applicable (2013) 6
Table 2: Personal income tax rates of OECD member countries - highest rate applicable (2013) 7
Table 3: Example of simplified tax liabilities 11


TABLE OF FIGURES
Figure 1: Example diagram of an EFRBS tax planning structure 12
Figure 2: ACL Blair - Windrush Structure 15


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