TAX AVOIDANCE HAS been put on the same pedestal as terrorism by the Treasury in its latest comments on a massive tax avoidance clamp-down by the Inland Revenue sparked by actions taken by clients of accountant Ernst & Young.
The FT reports the UK government is co-ordinating a strategy with the governments of Canada, Australia and the US to target firms which use currency swaps to minimise corporate tax payments.
The Revenue allegedly stands to lose £1bn from 30 FTSE 100 firms alone implementing the scheme, the FT adds.
”Tax avoidance and the industry that drives it are increasingly an international phenomenon, and it is vital that we have effective international co-operation to tackle it, just as we do for tackling terrorism, organised crime, money laundering and fraud,” the FT quotes John Healey, treasury economic secretary.
THE FSA’S ATTEMPTS TO hit all providers of split capital investment trusts equally hard following investigations into the so-called “magic circle” of funds may have found evidence that not all were as guilty, The Times says.
In a weekend commentary piece, the paper notes that this may be the reason why one or two providers continue refusing to play along with the FSA’s stated settlement objective.
Additionally, firms may be wary of paying compensation, which could reach those who are less deserving of others, the paper adds.
The problem for the FSA is persuading those who continue to resist that it is not a case of bludgeoning the industry yet again, in the style of pensions mis-selling.
AGNOSTICS MAY HAVE to change their mind following the guilty verdict handed down to one of Wall Street’s best-known investment bankers Frank Quattrone, who was found to have tried to usurp a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into illegal allocations of shares pre-IPO.
Quattrone was paid $120m by employer Credit Suisse First Boston in 2001 for his ability to bring in clients looking to float their IT businesses at the top of the dot.com boom, but will earn a maximum of $4 per day during his now forecast year in jail, The Times says.
THE JOHNSON FAMILY, which controls almost half the voting rights in Fidelity Investments, has sold a 0.5% stake in the firm as part of “overall financial planning”, reports The Daily Telegraph.
That leaves 49% of voting rights with the family, and the rest with employees, the paper notes, with Abigail Johnson, daughter of chief executive Edward Johnson III, alone worth $10bn.
OFFICES COULD SOON be soothing stressed employees with sounds of twittering birds and rushing water if the latest consultancy fad takes off, reports the Telegraph.
The Sound Agency is looking to advise clients on the need to create office “soundscapes”, which lead to happier, more relaxed, and more productive staff.
The £2,500 per day service offers to “neutralise” irritating sounds then apply wind, water and birdsong to create the perfect working environment.IFAonline
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