Big businesses would be forced to publish their tax returns under Labour

Jeremy Corbyn John McDonnellJeremy Corbny and John McDonnell.Darren Staples/Reuters

LONDON — Big businesses would be forced to make their tax affairs public under plans by the Labour party to crack down on tax avoidance.

Under the proposals, all businesses employing more than 250 people, or turning over more than £36 million a year, would have to publish their tax returns.

“Tax avoidance is a scourge on society that company secrecy laws help facilitate, and the Tories have done nothing to tackle,” Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP said today.

“Labour will pour the disinfectant of sunlight on large company accounts, helping close down the loopholes and the scams that the tax dodgers rely on.”

Labour will submit the proposals as an amendment to the government’s finance bill later this month. The bill contains several measures designed to crack down on corporate tax avoidance. However Labour believes they are too limited.

“The measures in the Finance Bill claiming to close tax loopholes do not go far enough and have gaping omissions, another Tory conjuring trick to hide their inaction in making sure that everyone, including the rich, pays their fair share of society’s upkeep,” Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Peter Dowd MP said.

“There is nothing in the government’s proposals to address the chronic lack of enforcement in the context of the wider regulatory problems. As usual, the Tories are playing rhetorically to the gallery.

“Labour are calling for a wide-ranging review of the UK tax gap and will be tabling a range of reform proposals to the Finance Bill, scope allowing. In particular, we will be seeking to strengthen the new penalty for any person who enables the use of abusive tax avoidance arrangements which has already been watered down since consultation with stakeholders.”

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