The British government’s ‘crackdown’ on tax evasion has been embroiled in another credibility crisis, following revelations that the family business of Chancellor George Osborne had not paid corporation tax for seven years.
A Shadow Treasury spokesman said that reports were ‘truly embarrassing’ for the Chancellor and the Labour party say that the tax row has casts doubt on his ability to make other firms pay up.
Analysis from the Sunday Times newspaper discovered that the Osborne family’s wallpaper business, Osborne & Little Group Ltd, paid out dividends totalling US$485,000 (£335,000) to stakeholders in 2014, despite not paying UK corporation tax since 2008.
The Mirror reports:
The Chancellor, who described “aggressive” tax avoidance as “morally repugnant” in his 2012 budget speech, received a share in a £335,000 dividend payout from the posh wallpaper company Osborne & Little.
Mr Osbourne holds 6,833 shares in the family firm was paid £1,230 from the annual dividend, while his parents were entitled to £270,000.
The company, which employs 195 people at its London headquarters, brought in £34 million in revenues in 2015 and £722,000 profit which was shared between directors.
But an analysis of Osborne & Little’s family accounts by a Sunday newspaper reveal it has not paid any corporation tax in the UK since 2008 .
This is because it has rolled over losses from previous years and deferred tax payments.
Accounts for the past year show Osborne & Little paid £6,000 in tax overseas – while it has also deferred a ‘tax charge’ of £173,000.
A Shadow Treasury spokesman said: “If true, hardworking families struggling to pay their taxes will find it hard to stomach that the Chancellor is taking dividends from a company which has not paid corporation tax for years.
“It’s truly embarrassing for George Osborne after lots of hot air about cracking down on ‘morally repugnant’ tax avoidance, the Chancellor now potentially risks further undermining public confidence in his ability to seriously address the issue.”
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