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UK parliament renews pressure on Barclays tax avoidance

Risk.net – The UK parliament’s Treasury Select Committee has renewed its pressure on Barclays by releasing letters describing a failed tax avoidance scheme in 2011. Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie noted that much of Barclays’ explanation to the committee for the scheme – ruled illegal by HM Revenue & Customs in February this year – did not agree with the facts, as explained by UK chancellor George Osborne in another letter to the committee.

Barclays launched a debt buyback scheme in December 2011 which netted it £1.1 billion – but its attempts to avoid payment of corporation tax on the profit were ruled retrospectively illegal earlier this year. The UK Treasury described the scheme as “highly abusive”. Barclays paid £300 million in tax, for which it had already made provision in its 2011 results.

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