Marmite Owner Unilever Books Profits in Switzerland


Unilever has a discreet – though huge – HQ in Schaffhausen, Switzerland (outside of the EU), through which it books purchases and sales to reduce tax liability. If you didn’t already know it was there you would be hard pressed to notice the blue ‘U’ logo on an upper level window…

Guido’s co-conspirators in Switzerland say purchases are made through the Schaffhausen entity and they are fairly certain Unilever’s intellectual property brand assets take advantage of the friendly tax regime. Could it be that Unilever’s companies across the EU pay heavy royalty fees to their Swiss entity, so as much profitability as possible rolls up there and gets taxed at super-low rates. Schaffhausen is well known in Switzerland (like Zug & Geneva) for offering special sweetheart corporate tax deals that are negotiated individually. Unilever’s €urophilia and pro-Remain campaigning does not extend to its profits remaining in high-tax EU states…

UPDATE: A well informed gnome tells Guido:

The point of Unilever running the purchases through Switzerland, means that the Swiss entity then owns the raw materials (and also the finished goods – the legal/finance people will ensure this).  Then, the individual Unilever country offices around Europe have to buy these materials from Unilever in Switzerland – at hefty price, no doubt including the royalty/IP charges for the Unilever recipes which will also be owned by Switzerland.  This has the effect of moving money to Switzerland from the UK/Germany/wherever else.

Slave for 20 Years for Tax Man


New research from the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) reveals that the total amount of tax paid by the average household increased by 2.7% last year. The study found that:

  • Over a lifetime, an average household will pay £826,030 in direct and indirect taxes.
  • In 2014-15, an average UK household had a gross income of £41,027.
  • At this level of income it would take more than 20 years just to pay their lifetime tax bill.

Half your average working life will be spent slaving for the tax man. Is that the type of society we want?

Guardian Editorial Condemns Rivals’ Tax Affairs


Today’s Guardian editorial says vote Remain because the newspapers backing Brexit are owned by tax avoiders. Yes, really.

“Questions also need to be asked about what lies behind the flag-waving certainties that are currently being served up by so much of Fleet Street. Imperfect as it may be, Europe-wide cooperation is the best hope we have on tax avoidance. And the typical tax-paying patriot may wonder whether they are on the same side on that question as the non-domiciled Lord Rothermere, who owns the Mail, or the Barclay Brothers, who own the Telegraph and have major interests in the Channel Islands and a Monaco address.”

“The typical tax-paying patriot?”

Readers don’t need reminding about the Guardian’s own offshore secrets, the assets held in the Caymans, the Scott Trust tax dodge. The lack of self-awareness is stunning…

Tax Freedom Day Coming Later Under Osborne

osborne tax freedom day

The ASI’s Tax Freedom Day – the first day of the year when you stop working for the state and start working for yourself – is arriving later and later under George Osborne. A few years ago you stopped paying tax and started putting income in your own pocket on around May 28 to May 30. This year’s Tax Freedom Day comes four days later than last year – in June for the first time – meaning taxpayers have worked 154 days just to pay their taxes. That’s a 42% effective tax rate. We are almost half way through the year, and everything you earned before today went to the taxman…

Campaign Report: 22 Days to Go

oil rig

Leave message: Government would axe fuel VAT post-Brexit.

Remain message: Lord Sugar says Remain’s better for business.

Cut through: Fuel VAT cut post-Brexit.

Leave social media count: 434,209 likes, 48,062 followers.

Remain social media count: 440,282 likes, 31,838 followers.

Odds: Remain 1/3, Leave 3/1

Latest poll: Remain 44%, Leave 47% (ICM, phone). Poll of Polls is now Remain 52%, Leave 49%.

EU Plots Tax ID Numbers For Every European Citizen

euro stars

The EU is laying the groundwork for new, centrally planned National Insurance-style numbers for every taxpayer in Europe. The proposal was passed by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee last night, and chillingly calls for a ‘European Taxpayer Identification Number’ to keep track of every EU citizen. This is the European Commission text:

“Proper identification of taxpayers is essential to effective exchange of information between tax administrations. The creation of European Taxpayer Identification Number (EU TIN) would provide the best means for this identification. It would allow any third party to quickly, easily and correctly identify and record TINs in cross-border relations and serve as a basis for effective automatic exchange of information between member states tax administrations.”

Brussels wants the ability to track every EU taxpayer, laying the foundations for a new European tax…

The report also calls for the EU to take over member states’ corporate taxation powers with a common corporation tax base, banning sovereign states from increasing their competitiveness by cutting corporation tax below 15%. This is a direct attack on sovereignty and attempt to create a new, centralised EU tax system…

UPDATE: UKIP’s Steven Woolfe says:

“If we stay in the EU, we will be forced to pay a European tax. Plans for an EU taxpayer ID system – effectively a new continental National Insurance number – demonstrates their real ambitions for further integration. They are laying the foundations for an EU tax system.”

Osborne Exempts “Politically Exposed Persons” From Money Laundering Checks

MPs complained earlier this year that they are being hounded “like African despots” following anti-money laundering checks from banks like HSBC. These checks are designed to ensure money isn’t being funnelled into criminal gangs or other corrupt arrangements. Charles Walker was furious that MPs and their families are on the list of “Politically Exposed Persons”, the automatic anti-money laundering watch list used by banks:

“It is ridiculously heavy-handed for banks to treat British MPs and their families in this aggressive way. They should be targeting crooked despots and dictators, not MPs’ grannies.”

Because politicians’ family members would never be involved in anything dodgy…

George Osborne this afternoon accepted an amendment to the Financial Services Bill which will see some Politically Exposed Persons and their families exempted from these anti-money laundering rules. Ministers will now “exclude… specified categories of persons” from the list of so-called PEPs, as Osborne says it is “disproportionate” for banks to include MPs and relatives on the watch list. Mossack Fonseca will be able to whisk MPs and their families through the account opening process…

Eagle Spins Caymans Aide Row

Following Guido’s revelation that the firm run by Labour’s new business tsar was incorporated in the Caymans, the FT’s Jim Pickard has asked Angela Eagle for a comment on her “ethical” business adviser. Eagle replied that Anthony Watson’s company “pays taxes in all the jurisdictions in which it operates”. What is the corporate tax rate in the Cayman Islands? Zero percent. Ian Cameron’s Panama fund paid taxes in all the jurisdictions in which it operated, and Labour said that was morally disgusting…

Labour Business Tsar’s Firm Incorporated in Caymans

The financial services firm run by Labour’s new business tsar was incorporated in the Cayman Islands, Guido can reveal. Anthony Watson is the flamboyant president and chief operating officer of Uphold Inc, an online financial services company headquartered in California.[…]


MPs Send £1 Million of Expenses Offshore

Over £1 million of taxpayers’ money has been diverted to offshore property companies through the MPs’ expenses system. In 2012-13, 13 MPs were paying rent expenses for properties in the luxury riverside Dolphin Square complex, made famous as the home of coke-snorting Lords (and worse).[…]


MPs’ Pension Scheme Managed Offshore

Potentially every MP has investments managed offshore through the parliamentary pension scheme. The latest annual accounts of the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund disclose that one of the fund’s managers is BlackRock UK Property Fund. A quick look at said fund’s prospectus shows it is domiciled offshore in Jersey:

When Labour MPs condemn Cameron’s father as “absolutely disgusting” for incorporating trusts offshore, remember their own pension scheme is run by fund managers domiciled in Jersey…[…]


Dave Gets His Daily Dose

Another happy reader – Dave shares with the House the news, as revealed by Guido, that the BBC, Mirror Group, and Guardian have all been using offshore investment funds. Sign up to the Guidogram here to get your daily dose too… […]


Corbyn’s Thousands in Offshore Income

Corbyn has eventually located his tax return for the last year – the most interesting thing is that he appears to have filed it late. Was he fined?

What isn’t disclosed is that in previous years Jezza made a significant amount of income from offshore sources.[…]


Osborne’s Tax Summary

The Treasury say:

“The dividend income relates to shares in Osborne and Little Group Limited, a UK resident manufacturing company of wallpapers and fabrics that was founded by his father. The dividends are derived from shares that the Chancellor of the Exchequer owns directly, and also as life tenant* of a family trust, based and resident in the UK which holds, as its sole asset, shares in that company.



BBC’s £84 Million in Bermuda


Cameron’s taxes and the Panama Papers have led the BBC News bulletins for the past week, yet licence fee payers remain unenlightened about Auntie’s own offshore financial arrangements. What better place to start than the 2013 BBC Pensions report, which lists investments held by the Beeb’s £9 billion employee benefit scheme. […]


Look in the Mirror: Millions Held Offshore

“David Cameron has behaved like a chancer over offshore funds,” blasted the Mirror’s leader on Friday: “Voice of the Mirror says hard to believe the PM will end the use of offshore financial hideaways by the filthy rich when he is cut from the same cloth”.[…]


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Quote of the Day

Trump jokes about media bias…

“The media is even more biased against me than ever before. You want the proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it. It’s fantastic. They think she’s absolutely great. My Wife Melania gives the exact same speech! And people get on her case! And I don’t get it! I don’t know Why!”

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