We have a big controversy going on at present in England involving Google, Facebook and Amazon — especially the first. None of these — and several more American firms — pay any corporate tax based on profits earned in this country, For some reason, Google decided that it would ‘do good’ and offered £135 million to HM Revenue and Customs. George Osborne, the finance minister, let it be known that this was a victory for HMRC. This has been scorned b y the Labour Party and the controversy has warmed up from being red=hot to white hot.
In my view, George Osborne, is one of the liveliest finance ministers in the world who is constantly looking for opportunities to pare down the corporate taxes paid by the largest multinational corporations. Obviously he wants to attract more big firms here. He has to do this very discreetly to avoid bad feelings growing among the advanced nation-states.
He crowed too much and too quickly. It is going to be interesting to see how this story unfolds. The increasing taxation competition between advanced countries is the biggest game in town — that is, in the world — these days.