Pressure is building on the Inland Revenue (IR) to change its rules to stop providing tax relief to c...
The FT says UK multinationals currently claim back millions of pounds under current rules.
New anti-terrorism law coming into effect on 14 February will make such relief illegal, according to the Home Office, which pushed through the new legislation, the FT says.
The IR says it will change any guidelines necessary for its officers, but adds that it is unaware of "any evidence that UK taxpayers are paying bribes to foreign officials, nor is there any question of us allowing them to claim tax deductions for them"
That may come as some surprise to MPs, which last year heard that Unilever and BP had paid "small amounts" to officials overseas, the FT says.
And the statement would also come as a surprise to the un-named source in the legal profession that the FT quotes as saying "huge amounts" were being provided in tax relief to UK plc.
The Times tops the bill with its own take on corruption, but this time related to the stupendous collapse of US energy trading company Enron.
The US department of justice last night started an inquiry into how directors managed to hide billions of dollars in debts from shareholders and regulators.
Here too there are significant political echoes, as Enron was one of president George Bush's biggest campaign contributors and its senior executives held several meetings last year with vice-president Dick Chaney in the White House.
The Times other big story is how US technology companies are going to have to explain why they paid up to $1 trillion too much for acquisitions during the 1998-2000 period.
New accountancy rules mean companies must report changes to 'goodwill' - the difference between the price paid for an acquisition and the market value of that acquisition in the present - every year.
Previously, The Times notes, goodwill could be written off over a period of anything up to 40 years, effectively making it irrelevant.
No more, and the effects are already being felt: AOL was forced to declare a write-off of more than $60bn in goodwill recently.
The Telegraph says today that investors holding zero dividend preference shares in the Aberdeen Preferred Income split capital investment trust are being urged by a financial adviser to vote against a £72.4m rescue package.
The package would bring ordinary shareholders up to £40m in dividends over the next 14 months according to Richard Moon, of Richard Moon Capital Management.
However, holders of zeros taking up the offer of a new 2005 zero plus 29p for every 2003 zero held would only get £3.5m.
The deal in its entireity is a complex one, but basically boils down to Aberdeen needing to generate a postponement of payment to holders of zeros in order to reverse the difficulties the trust got into when it broke its banking covenants in October and dividend payments to ordinary shareholders were halted.
The Telegraph says that broker Teather&Greenwood is recommending shareholders vote for the deal, although Piers Currie of Aberdeen Asset Management is quoted as saying shareholders should consult their IFAs if in doubt about the offer.
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