SNP pressure on the UK government led them to introduce a new rule obliging all companies to have a ‘named person of significant control’ thus quickly reducing the number of these dodgy businesses from 116 to only 7 by June 23 when the rule came into force. It may be none by now. There had been 131 the week before. Strangely the rule is not enforced in England where the number has increased. Tory interests?
‘Shell companies’ are money-laundering outfits that had become an embarrassment to Scotland due to the lack of legislation requiring them to be really based here and open to investigation. Here’s a definition:
‘Tax evasion and false accounting practices constitute common types of money laundering. Often, criminals achieve these objectives through the use of shell companies, holding companies, and offshore accounts. A shell company is an incorporated company that possesses no significant assets and does not perform any significant operations. To launder money, the shell company purports to perform some service that would reasonably require its customers to often pay with cash. Cash transactions increase the anonymity of customers and therefore decrease the government’s ability to trace the initial recipient of the dirty money. Money launderers commonly select beauty salons and plumbing services as shell companies. The launderer then deposits the money with the shell company, which deposits it into its accounts. The company then creates fake invoices and receipts to account for the cash. Such transactions create the appearance of propriety and clean money. The shell company can then make withdrawals and either return the money to the initial criminal or pass the money on to further shell companies before returning it to further cloud who first deposited the money.’
Never wondered why there are so many tanning salons, plushly fitted out, with virtually no customers? Mmmm…..
Yes. What about the plumbers?
Hi John – Crikey – I come back from the weekend and find a veritable library of articles which I’ll have to try and get a better look at as time allows – strikes me that this story is a really important one .
These shell companies are a blot on Scotland’s legal/financial/economic landscape and part of the world-wide tax avoidance network. The very fact that we have been able to make life more difficult for them in advance of Indy and in the face of Westminster’s notorious reluctance to ‘regulate’ shady financial arrangements (Panama Papers anyone?) is fantastic news – and proof positive of the progressive moves an Indy Scotland will be able to take forward in partnership with our European colleagues.
The story you ran on the tax receipts from the Scottish Sector is one that I need to read again and again. The figures are really quite odd aren’t they? – The revenue accruing to the Norwegian exchequer in comparison to the ‘negative flows’ in UK figures indicates that the UK figures are manipulated beyond credibility – it stinks to high heaven.
Could the tax regime around decommissioning account for part of the discrepancy? – although, logically, some very similar arrangements must be in place for the Norwegian Sector also (or so one would imagine).