David Cameron: We Need A 'Tougher Approach' To Tax Avoidance

Crackdown: Cameron And Clegg Get Tough On Tax Avoidance

David Cameron has admitted the government needs a "tougher approach" to tax avoidance.

During a 'PM direct' event with small businesses on Thursday morning he said HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) needed to make sure big companies paid "their fair share".

"I think we need a tougher approach and one of the things we’re going to be looking at this year is whether there’s going to be a more general anti-avoidance power that HMRC can use, particularly on very wealthy individuals," he said.

Cameron added HMRC should think about being "business friendly to small business".

The prime minister's comments came after his deputy Nick Clegg he hoped to crack down on tax avoidance.

"There should be a general rule that you can’t play the system, you can’t abuse the system," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Small businesses have accused HMRC of harassing them through plans to conduct spot checks on their record-keeping.

Speaking at the time, Conservative MP Priti Patel said their attitude was "frankly disgraceful".

"It seems as though HMRC sees small businesses as low-lying fruit to meet their targets. That kind of persecution is outrageous," she said.

The prime minister also revealed the government were "looking very closely" at setting up a system similar to the student loans process for those who want to borrow cash to start a businesses.

Cameron and Cleggs's pledge to get tough on tax avoidance comes after a report alleging HMRC gives "cosy" treatment to large companies over smaller businesses.


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