Socialist Worker

Murdoch avoids taxes—and it's legal

Issue No. 2260

News International has been allowed to systematically get away with paying virtually no tax on its super-profits.

Corporation tax in Britain is set at 26 percent.

But between 1986 and 1996 the company only paid 1.2 percent (£11.7 million) despite raking in £979.4 million.

Murdoch’s four British newspapers made a whopping £779 million in 1994.

Yet Murdoch paid virtually no tax on the profits.

The real shock is that this is entirely legal.

The tax system is set up to protect the profits of the super‑rich, like Murdoch.

Investigations into News International’s tax practices reveal a complex web of firms, including some located in offshore tax havens, and a host of subsidiary “finance” companies.

This allows for “tax minimalisation”—moving profits and losses around a group of companies to lower the amount of tax due.

The costs of building up BSkyB and of moving News International publications to Wapping can be offset against current and future profits.

That reduces the tax payable.

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