Paying people through companies is an issue because one in 3 small companies don’t subit their tax returns

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The current debate on paying civil servnats through limited companies is about fairness, about applying tax law, about the corruption of the civil service culture and about the undermining of belief in the principle of government itself.

It is also about justice and equality.

And at a practical level it should be about collecting tax due.

As my research has shown, up to 500,000 such companies disappear a year without trace.

And in 2009-10 at least 700,000 companies sent corporation tax returns did not return them. I estimate £16 billion of tax was lost as a result.

This is also about the risk of fraud.

Which makes the case for systemic reform, including better tax regulation, company regulation and civil service regulation stronger still.