August 10th, 2012

Tax Avoidance Firm Slammed By Guardian Advises Guardian

The Guardian has criticised PricewaterhouseCoopers in the past, noting that they are a key player in the “tax avoidance industry” and have a suspiciously “cosy relationship” with HMRC. The paper has also described PWC’s role as an auditor for major banks as “poor and unaccountable. Nasty bunch!

So what a surprise to see the Guardian Media Group employing the services of, you guessed it, PWC:

It’s like fish in a barrel today.


  1. 1
    Polly says:

    We’re all in it together


    • 15
      Durr... says:

      I’m still trying to come to terms with Gideon’s response to crap figures by him/us giving 110%. If he were my accountant I’d sack him. is Gideon a qualified accountant? How does he get a job as top money man? Schoolboy/University contacts?


  2. 2
    Ho Ho says:



    • 55
      Business Cat (specializing in yarns, Cdn owned & op) says:

      Confused Canadian wants to know: if the law says the “avoidance” is legal, why not demand the government change the law? That’s how we do it here. I’ve never heard of anyone in Canada being harassed unless they broke the law.


  3. 3
    Anonymous says:

    Surely that just shows the Guardian’s integrity? Even though they are audited by PwC they aren’t afraid to criticise them?


    • 4
      Tachybaptus says:

      The trouble with anonymous comments is that you can’t tell whether this is a serious comment by the familiar brain-dead lefty Anonymous, or by someone else being ironic. It’s not very difficult to use a name. Suggest you try it.


    • 13
      Tay King-dePisse says:

      T’ other way ’round, more than likely; having criticised PWC for engaging in what the Graun would deem shady practices, the time came for the Graun to have need of their services, and they knew just who to call. Wouldn’t you love to have been a fly on the wall: “Yeah, you know how we lambasted you? You lot didn’t take any of that to heart, did you? I mean, just doing our job, you know how that is, right? Say, how much would it take to get you to look at our books…umm, THAT much? Well, I suppose you’re worth it after all, it’s what we were REALLY implying in the coverage, innit?”


    • 44
      annette curton says:

      Spit It out man, the bile of rank hypocrisy.


  4. 5
    ed martin says:

    whatever the merits of the Guardian’s story, the accountants are ‘tax-farmers’ – living off the PBT (poor b…y taxpayer)

    they are ‘on the sponge’ as much as much as irrelevant civil self-servants, phoney farmers and other benefits cheats – no worse, no better

    and that’s the political problem – because that’s the society we’ve created – and can’t afford


    • 49
      Really? says:

      Who’s the “we” here?

      Most on this site have been calling for slashing government spending and lowering taxes for years.
      Most of the time to a chorus of scorn from leftard trolls.
      This government are as much to blame as the last, spraying money the taxpayers have yet to earn, at all manner of futile and idiotic vanity programs, as well as the more usual, useless “progressive” shite.
      Frankly, the society they are intent on creating with our money, will be a truly awful place for around 80% of humanity, yet the LabLibCon political class, in the main, could not care less.


  5. 7
    a non says:

    Time and a plaice for everyone


  6. 8
    Fat Abbott says:


  7. 9
    Anonymous says:

    Note 8 to financial statements says tax credit of 12.7m derived from “income not taxable”. 12.7m/26.5% is just under 50m. So 1/5 of Guardian’s income not subject to corporation tax? Surely not.


  8. 10
    I don't need no doctor says:

    It just doesn’t add up.


  9. 12
    Red Ed says:

    When you’re in a deficit position, like the Guardian and the country, you need a sound solution, you don’t cut too far and too fast, you spend more and faster.

    PWC knows that the more the Guardian spends on it, the more likely it will be in recovery and there will be more jobs, and success.

    and PWC is advising the Guardian on issuing its own sovereign debt


  10. 14
    M B Dextrous says:

    My left hand doesn’t know what my right is doing.


  11. 17
    Anonymous says:

    “shooting fish in a barrel”



  12. 19

    I used to work in their tax department. Ethics are taken very seriously. If memory serves me correctly they do (or did) employ a lot of ex Tax Inspectors, so there is, or was, a good career path from IR (as it was) to PW (as it was).

    To me, PW were a beacon of light, and one that I am very poud to have qualified with.

    Remember tax avoidance is legal. It may be becoming immoral, but it is legal. If you dont like it change the law.

    That said I have often said that if I win the lottery I would just pay my tax, and not look for any avoidance schemes, for it is the right thing to do. The trouble is I would only know if I could actually do it if I ever did win the lottery, for until you are in that position, you just never know what you would do. But I hope that I would practice what I preach.

    The big problems with making avoidance illegal are:-

    1. Big businesses would simply move, costing jobs. No easy solution to that.
    2. We would have a lot of unemployed accountants, and a smaller skill base to project into the big corporates.

    Once this country has more ethical leadership in place (which will take a long time as I am talking right through the political system not just in Westminster etc) then the situation will naturally resolve itself.

    Remember those accountants who do advice on legal tax avoidance are just doing what the Tories like – earning a living abiding by the law of the land.

    And Price Waterhouse would be my first recommendation as I know from first hand experience just how seriously they take ethics and how well they look after their staff.


    • 22
      Goodbye Camoron says:


      How did you qualify as an accountant?

      You said above “that if I win the lottery I would just pay my tax, and not look for any avoidance schemes, for it is the right thing to do”.

      There is NO tax on Lottery winnings.

      So, clearly you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.



      • 28
        Anonymous says:

        Presumably he’d have a lot of taxable income of the capital though you tw4t


      • 53

        Duh, there would be tons of taxto pay on investments, interest etc


      • 64
        the savant says:

        thaken from today s FT page 4 uk print edition


        lin homer hmrc chief executive said the additional staff would help the Revenue achieve a target of answering 90 percent of all calls two years earlier than planned


        so there we have it . no one will be asked to hang on the tax help phone for longer than a maximum of two years . Progress i suppose …


    • 34
      Crap Talk says:

      So you would not take out an ISA, Invest in national savings, buy premium bonds, play the lottery again, take your personal tax free allowance, donate to charity or commute a pension? So much tosh confused with envy is talked about avoiding tax.


      • 54

        I dont see National Savings as tax avoidance as it is a government scheme. Though in the strictest sense of the word I guess it obviously is.

        I would be investing far and wide and donating millions, but donating out of my income not to reduce my tax bill (or at least I hope I would).


  13. 21
    Goodbye Camoron says:

    Morally reprehensible.


  14. 23
    wack says:

    I notice they have 60m invested with those evil hedge funds


  15. 24
    Jimmy says:

    Of course both links are CiF pieces rather than Guardian articles, but I suppose your weekend’s already started.


  16. 26
    Left Foot Forward says:

    Give us your fucking money!


  17. 30
    Polly Toynbee says:

    We stand up for the poor.


  18. 32
    • 51
      Pawn Sandwich says:

      It is good to learn the language of your civil partner. Shows an open and liberated mind.


      • 58
        Really? says:

        It shows he is a parasite you mean. If he wants to learn another language, then pay for it out of your earnings like everyone else has to.


        • 59
          Pawn Sandwich says:

          That really is sour grapes, when you look at what the other MP’s have claimed on expenses then this is trivial.


  19. 41
    Jimmy Carr says:

    It’s K2 ffs.


  20. 42
    genghiz the kahn says:

    Have any of the Guardian journalists, editors etc, been involved in any tax minimisation schemes similar to those used over at The BBC?

    Have they also run stories on how difficult it is for state schooled journalists to get a job with them?


    • 50
      Backwoodsman says:

      ….or stories about how if we didn’t have the worlds longest and most complex tax code, but had a simple low rate tax structure, people wouldn’t bother going to the trouble and expense of hiringexpensive parasites like PWC, who merely suck the blood out of real businesses. No, thought not !


      • 52
        genghiz the kahn says:

        I hope that Adam Tax isn’t taxing Hart-Davies, was outside the creative BBC income tax minimisation scheme.


  21. 43
    Dear Marj says:

    My wife and I were married by a queer Vicker, are we in a gay marriage and is it legal


  22. 60
    Guardianista total lack of ethical culture "Only the Peasants Pay Full Tax" says:

    Hypocrisy is what we do…..but we do it on a Grand Scale…………..

    Polly is very proud to be retained by such near bankrupt unethical organisation


  23. 61
    Torontry says:

    Note that PwC received £1.1m for their services (previous year £0.6m) of which £0.6m was tax advisory services up from £0.2m in the previous year (note 4 to the financial statements). Wonder what that was for??!!


  24. 65
    Anonymous says:

    They may be hypocrites but first they told the truth.


  25. 66
    Anonymous says:

    This Guardian Price Waterhouse story should be spun in a positive way…despite having a relationship with PW the Guardian is willing to expose the company’s tax avoidance, showing journalistic integrity and independence.


    • 67
      Torontry says:

      See my comment – 58 above. The hypocrisy is that GMG have spent over £0.5m – almost certainly on tax avoidance. That’s what tax advisory services typically are for!


  26. 71
    tottenham Chutzpah says:

    who’s this Price Countinghouse anyway


  27. 73
    Andy Pandy says:

    Rather than tax everything everyone earns why not let people keep their money and pay full wack for public services at the point of use?


  28. 74
    Rob says:

    Tax avoidance firm slammed by tax avoiding firm advises tax avoiding firm


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