Finance leaders want 'end to offshore tax havens' - The Times/ICAS survey

London City
By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

6 June 2016

An ICAS/The Times UK Finance Leaders' Survey suggests more than 80% of UK finance leaders want “governments and international agencies to bring about the end of offshore tax havens”.

The first joint survey by ICAS and The Times also found a further 30% disagree that it is acceptable for companies to seek to minimise their corporate tax liabilities by making use of the variations in tax rates between countries.

The leak of the Panama Papers and the vast amount of media coverage surrounding it will help combat tax avoidance, according to most respondents, with 80% of those surveyed saying it will lead to further legislation to restrict international tax avoidance.

Attitudes towards paying the correct amount of corporate tax are changing among financial leaders, with 42% saying they consider it more of an issue of reputation, rather than a straightforward technical/compliance issue.

The survey of over 222 finance professionals, which was conducted by Ipsos MORI, also sought views on this month’s EU referendum.

EU Infographic

Almost three quarters (73%) said that they would prefer the UK to remain part of the EU. 20% of those asked said The Single Market and Freedom of Movement was the main reason that the UK should stay in Europe. This was followed by 18% citing uncertainty surrounding Brexit and 13% worried about the economic impact it would have.

Of those who think the UK should leave the EU, 42% believe that failure of the current EU system is the main reason for Brexit.

Ahead of the in/out referendum on 23 June, ICAS recently published a paper seeking to inform the debate on the UK’s relationship with the EU.

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