Daily Mail’s tax-dodge hypocrisy over Facebook ‘insult’

Newspaper accidentally calls for crackdown on itself

 

The Daily Mail is furious about Facebook’s flagrant tax evasion.

Today’s front page decries the social media giant’s ‘insult to taxpayers’, after reports Facebook paid a mere £4,327 in corporation tax in 2014.

Mail 12 10 15

Facebook paid staff huge bonuses of up to £210,000 each, allowing it to claim an accounting loss and pay less tax.

The company also channels its money through tax havens. As the Mail reports:

“Facebook is understood to funnel British profits through its international headquarters in Ireland to another organisation registered in the Channel Islands, a notorious tax haven.”

The rotters! The Mail adds:

“The revelation is an embarrassment to ministers, including George Osborne, who pledged to crack down on tax-dodging global firms.”

But will the story cause embarrassment to Daily Mail proprietor Jonathan Harmsworth, 4th Viscout Rothermere, who has long engaged in his own elaborate tax-dodging?

Viscount Rothermere

Rothermere inherited his father’s non-domicile status, which Private Eye reports he has used to channel hundreds of millions of pounds in dividends from the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) through a company called Rothermere Continuation Ltd, registered in Bermuda, then back into a trust fund for himself and his family.

Will the chancellor include the DMGT in his ‘crackdown on tax-dodging global firms’?

As the Mail’s editorial ‘Status: tax dodger’ huffs:

“No wonder some are drawn to Jeremy Corbyn’s infantile Marxism. The sooner Mr Osborne’s crackdown takes effect, the better for the good name of capitalism.”

Quite.

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Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

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