Commentary: UK govt. should pay more attention to monitoring tax compliance by co.s awarded public contracts

Author: Paul Monaghan, Fair Tax Mark (UK), Published on: 7 March 2018

"How can we ensure that tax evaders and aggressive tax avoiders do not profit from taxpayer-funded public procurement contracts?", 28 Feb 2018

...The UK Government rarely...considers tax justice in its procurement in a meaningful way...[T]he bar for disqualification is set insanely high...[D]isqualification is admissible where HMRC has successfully challenged a potential supplier under the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR)...Another ground for exclusion is where a judicial or administrative decision has established that a business has been found guilty of breaching its tax obligations.  But...disputes never reach such a conclusion. Instead, “settlements” are reached outside of the courts...[T]he same factors are at play in local government procurement...[T]he new national Public Procurement Note...while being a step forward, suffers from the same weak exclusion grounds that operate nationally, and relies on suppliers to self-declare compliance.  Progress has to date been slow due a number of factors...The European Parliament...called on the Commission to put forward a revision of the Procurement Directive which includes measures to prevent public administrations from working with companies that use tax havens.  It will also involve exploring what further measures can be pursued in the UK post-Brexit...

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