Monday 9 September 2013

UK: Company directors, fiduciary duties and tax avoidance

A legal opinion, prepared by law firm Farrer & Co, was published today by the Tax Justice Network: see here (pdf). A copy has been sent to the chief executive of every company in the FTSE100. The opinion considers - and rejects - the view that company directors are subject to a fiduciary duty to avoid tax. Indeed, it states that the "... idea of a strictly 'fiduciary' duty to avoid tax is wholly misconceived ...[and] ... It is not possible to construe a director's statutory duty to promote the success of the company [under section 172 of the Companies Act 2006] as constituting a positive duty to avoid tax."

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