Sunday, March 11, 2012

What Offshore Offices Do

Tax Justice Network: Investigation exposes Vodafone's phoney Swiss operators

and from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism:

In a meeting with reporters posing as consultants, Vodafone’s Swiss branch manager revealed that:
• He is primarily a bookkeeper;
• Vodafone takes up less than 5% of his time;
• He is not involved in decision-making but follows orders from Vodafone’s Luxembourg office;
• Vodafone has a dedicated room in his office but it is almost always unoccupied.
The revelations suggest the Swiss set-up is artificial and should not escape greater scrutiny from the British taxman. They also call into question HMRC’s agreement in 2010 that the Swiss branch structure could continue untaxed in future.
For one subsidiary, profits worth $2.5bn (£1.6bn) were taxed at less than 1% in 2011  
They got a little farther than Leslie Stahl.

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