GlaxoSmithKline can’t get its tax right, and is Sir Christopher Hogg covering for them?

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GlaxoSmithKline still can't get its tax right. The IRS is now challenging it concerning the period from 2001 to 2003. The dispute is over inter-company financing arrangements. Call that transfer pricing by any other name.

GSK, of course disputes the claim. But let's recall, this is the company that has already settled $3.4 billion over transfer pricing issues with the IRS in 2006 (the biggest tax settlement ever), and remains in conflict with HM Revenue & Customs on the same issue for all periods since 1994.

Now I could look on this with just technical interest but for one thing. Sir Christopher Hogg, chair of the Financial Reporting Council, was at GSK and predecessor companies throughout these periods of dispute. He has been engaged in discussion and correspondence with me concerning country-by-country reporting since December 2007, for which he can see no justification.

Are you sure you're not just covering your own backside Sir Christopher? Country-by-country reporting would, of course, highlight potential transfer pricing abuses. Now you wouldn't want that, would you Sir Christopher? That would never do, would it?