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Businesses would pay more tax for greater clarity, finds Grant Thornton

THE MAJORITY of UK businesses are willing to pay more in taxes in return for greater clarity from tax authorities.

Some 83% of UK businesses canvassed agreed they would be willing to pay more, compared with 74% globally, according to Grant Thornton’s International Business Report – a global survey of 2,580 businesses across 35 economies.

Large businesses and their tax affairs have come under heavy scrutiny following a litany of scandals that have seen companies channel profits offshore to low-tax jurisdictions.

Companies ranging from Google and Starbucks to pharmaceuticals giant Shire have all attracted the ire of both government and the public over their tax arrangements.

Grant Thornton UK head of taxation Jonathan Riley said: “The levels of taxation paid by businesses has become a very public and emotive issue. It’s interesting to see these survey results as this is not something we commonly hear from our core clients in the mid-market. Setting emotion to one side, businesses have a responsibility to their investors and shareholders to keep costs down – within the existing regulatory parameters.”

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