Crooked Crook Ltd: company registration scandals
In this episode Taxcast host Naomi Fowler investigates the phenomenon of pop-up sweet shops on Oxford Street and the missing millions in taxes owed. The trail leads to the disgrace that is the UK's company registration process, making the UK Crime Central for any crook who comes along. It's not just the UK that exposes its citizens to risks, it hurts people across the world too.
Transcript of the show is available here: https://taxjustice.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/The-Taxcast-Transcript-July-2022.pdf
Taxcast website with more Taxcasts: https://www.thetaxcast.com
"It is ridiculous that you have to take more identification to get a library card to borrow a book than you do to create a limited liability company, which potentially is a cost to the taxpayer if you go bust, it is bonkers and it should stop" Graham Barrow of The Dark Money Files podcast.
"I came across a situation where for tax avoidance reasons, thousands of companies were being set up at the same time, with the same individual as the director. And in some cases there was 2000 companies being set up in the same day with the same individual as a director, and it wasn't raising any flag. You hear it all the time, you know, 'oh well, we'll learn the lessons,' but we never really seem to learn the lessons. The next scandal is a variation on a theme of the previous scandal.” ~ former tax inspector Ray McCann
"How did the UK end up at the centre of so many crimes? It's incredibly easy - go online, go onto the Companies House website - that's our company registry - pay 12 pounds and you too can have a shell company. I registered one myself - it took me less than 24 hours to receive the deeds showing I owned the company. I called it Crooked Crook Crook which I thought was pretty funny, but it turned out that actually I was being fairly unimaginative by the standards of international criminals." ~ journalist and anti-corruption campaigner, Oliver Bullough
Further reading and information here:
- BBC coverage of pop-up sweet shops on Oxford Street https://youtu.be/yXeXw91_H0k
- Time to Return Integrity to the UK Corporate Registry. Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies video featuring Oliver Bullough https://youtu.be/LHTmRPtMXs8
- The Dark Money Files podcast https://t.co/ktKHci06dK
- German company registration process (for the purposes of comparison) https://www.lawyersgermany.com/company-registration-in-germany