Grant Thornton senior tax partner Mike Warburton said: "Guardian Media Group has enjoyed a tax holiday courtesy of some very helpful rules introduced by their friend Gordon Brown. They are taking full advantage of the relief legally available to them, which all businesses should do. That’s fine, but don’t knock people who do exactly the same."
Our favourite retired tax accountat (who, I believe, is funded by the Ford Foundation) has more:
The low charge is on the exceptional part sale of the Auto Trader group. No complicated planning was needed to produce a low tax charge: the government allows for tax to be deferred in this case if funds are reinvested. The Guardian did reinvest the funds. That’s not artificial, offshore, or complex. Indeed, it is tax compliant: the company is doing what the government wants, and for which it provides a relief.
Both statements are, as far as I can tell, entirely true. It’s just that, when calculating the tax gap in the report "The Missing Billions", our favourite retired tax accountant did not make similar adjustments. Companies using reliefs provided by the government (and thus, one would assume, doing, as above, what the government wants) were castigated for paying a lower than headline rate of tax.
Seems there’s something of a difference between goose and gander around here, no?