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Tax Dodging: Hand-In to HMRC

April 5th, 2012 by

Take a look at the video from today’s hand-in!

Back in December, 38 Degrees members were outraged to find out that the government’s tax collectors – HMRC – had been cutting “sweetheart deals” for big companies. Thousands of us wrote letters of complaint to HMRC about them letting big business get away with billions of pounds of tax that could have been spent on public services.

Today, at the end of the financial year, 38 Degrees volunteers handed in a whopping 34,937 letters of complaint from 38 Degrees members to HMRC.  We had to carry all 18 boxes of complaints by hand right up to the double doors – but it was worth it!

Tax dodging has been a hot issue for 38 Degrees members for some time. Just last month, 38 Degrees members voted for cracking down on tax dodging as one of our very top priorities.

The government recently said they’re planning a new “general anti-avoidance rule” to crack down on the worst tax dodging schemes. That shows they’re feeling the heat!  But some experts don’t think the plans go far enough. Not only that, amazing action group UK Uncut is mounting a legal challenge to try to claw back unpaid tax from bankers Goldman Sachs.

Should we all be weighing in to push for a stronger “anti-avoidance rule”?  Or seeing what we can do to help UK Uncut’s legal action?  What do you think 38 Degrees members should do together next to stamp out tax dodging?



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  • Nicky Griffiths

    Let’s support UK Uncut’s legal action.  Better for us all to concentrate our efforts rather than dividing support between different approaches.  If we stand together it makes it harder for the Coalition to try divide and rule tactics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ray.allott Ray Allott

    I agree with Nicky Griffiths in that there should be a concerted single point effort to stop the fraud and get the money back where it belongs.

  • Tricia

    Having just looked at the information about UK Uncut’s campaign – yes we should support them. If, or shoudl I say when, that action is successful it will send tremors through the ranks of of the other tax avoiders.

  • michael

     Yes, definitely. I agree we should support UK Uncut’s legal action.

  • Anonymous

    Just read in The Independent today that Amazon is a mega tax dodger. £3bn worth of sales in UK and no tax at all! I always wondered why Amazon invoices come from Luxemburg. It will be quite difficult not buying from them any more, but you have to do the right thing. I totally support the continuation of the campaign.

  • Andy

    With the track record of this heinous government nothing should surprise me but they still do.  They have put inordinate effort into mugging the weak, poor, vulnerable, sick and disabled even to the point of immediate effect changes.  They recruit extra HMRC staff to chase people with second homes and who employe cash only nannies.  But do they change the tax laws to make massive mulit-national and large national companies to pay their fair share of tax, NO.  This amounts to £billions (e.g. Vodafone, Debenhams, Amazon).  When are we going to lobby on this iniquitous near criminal farce?

  • Carl Holmes

    both, companies should have to pay all of their taxes like you an me
    we need to have a march on street show public force

  • Frankledwith

    I think it would be a good idea to focus on particular tax avoiders, one at a time. We could name and shame and try to be specific about how much tax they have avoided each year. I gather from the i newspaper that there is info from files released in the USA that Amazon re under investigation but there are no details of by whom for what.

    So Amazon would be a good start for all of us who use the net. We could start a campaign where people commit to avoiding Amazon as much as they can. Part of that would be to suggest alternatives to Amazon. For example for books thebookdepository.co.uk offers as good deals as Amazon and actually better for those outside the UK as postage is free worldwide. I would be interested to hear of alternatives for buying CDs. 

  • Doc Edran

    I have just tried to cancel my account with Amazon because of their appalling tax avoidance. It is not easy! You go through the same loop twice and I don’t know whether I have yet succeeded….

  • Joe

    Support the UK Uncut legal action, and initiate new legal actions to reclaim all unrecovered tax and dodgy deals.

  • Brothervarid

    I would favour abolishing all taxation. There are better ways to run things.

  • Brixdez

    I thought Amazon had bought the Book Depository? Good idea though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510493848 Jonathan Edwards


    I’m one person, I set up a little petition last week and it’s already more than 1000 people strong! I want to make a very awkward public statement to AmazonUK and companies like AmazonUK who disguise their tax avoidance as a means of remaining competitive: The people of the UK know that multinationals are avoiding paying tax and we want it to stop. Please would you sign and pass on this petition to as many people as you possibly can?


    best wishes

    Jon Edwards
    Librarian, artist, musician, normal person

  • Josie

    This is a great response from everyone, but I think we should support UK Uncut’s legal action. In fact we should get together with other similar groups as well,and not just on this issue, we would have more clout-the more the merrier? 

  • Hercules108

    It appears that there is an alternative to solving the national debt. Its been staring the government right in the face all this time. But hold on……It would involve rocking the boat with very rich influential companies who could be ideally placed to ‘help’ a political party back into power by aiding campaigning. It wouldn’t involve smashing the bones out of the country or its hard working population who just want the chance to live a decent life. So I don’t reckon the government would put half as many resources into an investigation. 
    Unfortunately Tory spells fat cats getting fatter. We just have to survive on the scraps from their errors which means at the moment I’m quite full!!!

  • Frankledwith

     I have signed your petition. Well done for setting it up. We need to give each info on alternatives to Amazon. I suggest the bookdepository but someone said that it had been bought by Amazon. For second hand books I use ABEbooks or Powells but not sure of an alternative for new books or for CDs

  • Denysandbeth

    Please support the growing campaign about the new imposition of VAT on repairs to historic and listed places of worship. You may not be religious but when they are shut because they are dangerous to enter due to lack of repair we will all be sadder and wiser!
    The link is here :http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/32229

  • Adam

    Have just
    written to Amazon about their Luxembourg tax avoidance scheme (they pay
    virtually no tax on UK earnings and employ hardly anyone, routing all your
    Amazon purchase money through off-shore accounts to dodge UK tax). I wrote to

    Dear Amazon, I have been a regular customer spending a fair amount of money
    with you over several years. Following revelations about your avoidance of UK
    tax I am going to boycott you and find UK tax paying companies to buy from.
    this is as shame since you offer good service. Let me know if your Amazon Sarl
    (i.e. our off shore tax dodging) arrangements are ended and you commit to UK
    tax and I shall be happy to resume my custom. 

    Maybe this should be a 38 Degrees
    campaign? If anyone agrees – write to the 38 Degree team or add comments in
    support. Cheers, Adam

  • msgmash.com

     You could always go to waterstone’s website.  As for second-hand books, World of Books, which is an Amazon associate AND Abebooks associate, has its own website – so you could deal with them direct rather than through amazon.