It is because the British and no doubt other tax systems are so opaque and so complex that companies like Starbucks are able to require expensive lawyers to avoid them paying tax, successfully, while " the little people" have to pay to the penny: it is an antiquated set of rules which enable experts to use them to find and exploit loopholes. As soon as a loophole, after the event, is closed, they are able to devise another to fulfil the wishes of their clients and their investors. It is because the system is so complex that even tax accountants in the Tax Office, the guardians of the system, do not fully understand it let alone prevent this legal abuse.
Starbucks has been forced by customer reaction, outraged by its perceived immorality, to offer to contribute some funds to the Treasury in lieu of tax; this wealthy giant of an entity, depending on footfall for its profits, felt the impact of public rejection and acted, possibly too late and clumsily, but other corporates in a similar position such as Amazon whose customers are invisible and off the high street have not felt the same pressure particularly since their competition is far less, comparatively, and so they have been silent.
While consumer pressure for good moral conduct is persuasive, because tax avoidance is legal it can only be limited in its effectiveness. A solution is to begin again, a very appropriate course of action for the new age. By scrapping all existing tax legislation, much of which is ancient and contradictory, and drafting a new set of simple, clear laws there will be no opportunity for obfuscation and "catch me if you can" avoidance. It would mean that generous tax concessions to some companies and not others would be outlawed and a large number of well paid tax advisers would be unemployed. Most significantly, everyone would pay their legal dues fairly and equally however big or important they were.
Let it be simple, let it be open, let it be fair. Remember Lemuria?]]>