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Hidden control

In their eagerness to quell multi-national tax evasion, will the government's Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill 2014-15 create the desired level of transparency, or will it spook business into becoming even more secretive, asks Lucy Edwards

8 December 2014

One of the priorities agreed by world leaders at this year's G20 summit was the continuing need to combat tax avoidance at a multi-national level. The UK government has introduced a raft of measures in recent years in pursuance of this cause, with some targeted at individuals who use complex legal structures to hide their wealth and identities. The effectiveness of these measures depends on HMRC holding accurate information coupled with robust investigative powers to identify those behind such structures.

However, in a society where corporate vehicles are a common and legitimate form of business and personal wealth structuring, the government must strike a balance between the often conflicting principles of transparency, competitiveness and privacy.

This December sees the second reading of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill 2014-15 i...

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