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264 banks sign up to code of practice on tax

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The government has published a list of 264 banks which have unconditionally adopted its ‘voluntary’ code of practice on taxation for banks as at 5pm on 4 December.

Chris Hutley-Hurst, European counsel in the London office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, said: ‘The publication of the names of banks operating in the UK that have newly adopted or re-adopted the code ... marks a key step towards the use of the “court of public opinion” and the tacit threat of reputational damage in order to ensure tax compliance from a specified group of UK taxpayers, and, in turn, to assist in the administration of UK taxes more generally. HMRC is wielding a powerful tool to ensure compliance with the code. As a result, banks could take highly conservative approaches to transactions, even where the risk of being in breach of the code is remote.

‘Although the code and the rules regarding public naming are currently only aimed at banks, their likely success could pave the way for an expansion to other taxpayers, especially multinational enterprises which are currently the focus of proposals to prevent base erosion, profit shifting and double non-taxation,’ he added.

Issue: 1196
Categories: News , Compliance , Corporate taxes