The revenue drain - why chasing wily multinationals for more tax is a waste of time

Taxpayers may resent the underground systems that multinationals set up to pipe profits to low-rate regimes, but we need to get real. Corporation tax alone will never fill the Treasury's coffers.

by Nick Hood

International corporations pay tax; in fact they pay lots of it. But it is they and their sophisticated professional advisers, not governments, that decide where and how much they contribute to sovereign coffers.

It's an unpleasant fact of business life and a seriously inconvenient one right now for politicians grappling with deficit reduction in double and even triple-dip recessionary economies like the UK.

A number of high-profile US corporations have recently been pushed, bristling with defensive outrage and self-justification, into the spotlight of UK public opinion. They have even being forced to participate in the self-abasing blood sport of parliamentary select committee hearings.

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