Top firms consider moving abroad

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The Press Association: Top firms consider moving abroad.

According to the Press Association:

Half of Britain's top 30 firms have looked at shifting their tax base offshore and a handful are actively considering such a move, it has been claimed.

The threat of an exodus that could cost the state billions of pounds comes a week before the Treasury is due to hold discussions over reforms to the taxation of foreign profits - a key area of contention for major firms.

Last week, Unilever and Diageo fuelled the debate by warning that they could move overseas if the tax regime worsens.

Of the top 30 companies in the FTSE 100 Index, 15 told the Sunday Times that they were keeping their tax domicile status under review. Three said they were actively considering a move.

There's a problem with all this though.

First, all know HMRC is plannign to challenge anyone who claims to have done this.

Second, the move against tax havens is gathering pace - and those who think Ireland a panacea have to be deluded: the place is collapsing as a consequence of its tax policies.

Third, the claim that a 50% personal tax rate is driving this is ludicrous: we all know that the amount involved is, because the measure does not involve restriction in allowances and reliefs, regrettably small.

Fourth, The hype is over just three who are considering this: that almost certainly means none will go.

Fifth, Grant Thornton are a persistent hand in these reports. They are also a heavily biased firm, offering consistent support to the Tories. One smells blatant political positioning on their part.

In other words, this is all hype and nonsense.