What to do about Google

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We now know that the Google tax decision will be precedent making: the FT has reported that Facebook is also under HMRC investigation. If HMRC are as successful with them in proportionate terms as they were with Google that should raise about £25,000 in tax. Which is precisely why the outrage on the Google tax decision is so appropriate: it is very obviously wrong for HMRC, wrong for the country, and maybe wrong for big business too at a time when it, like most elites in our society, is deeply alienating those whose support it needs.

There are, of course, things that can be done. Most I have said before, so let m,e make them brief.

First, if evidence was needed that HMRC needs top down reform then this is it. I have written in depth about this here.

Second, the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting proposals can be implemented and acted upon in full, including the power to deem companies like Google UK tax resident.

Third, the UK’s policy of being a tax haven can be changed.

Fourth we could have, as the public demand, full country-by-country reporting.

Fifth, more fundamental reform could be started:  the time for unitary taxation, that apportions profits of a multinational company to the places where it trades on a just and equitable basis, has come.

Change is possible.

Why is the political will not present?

That is the question.