Google, Starbucks, Apple and Ebay are all companies that are being accused of agressive tax avoidance methods (Photos: Reuters)
Google, Starbucks, Apple and Ebay are all companies that are being accused of agressive tax avoidance methods (Photos: Reuters)

Chancellor George Osborne was offered one last chance to grab the headlines with some eye-catching anti-tax avoidance measures expected to raise £3.1bn.

In a further clamp down on companies like Starbucks and Google, who have been accused of shifting profits around the world to cut their tax bills, the Chancellor gave details of the so-called Google tax.

More formally called the diverted profits tax, the measure is aimed at preventing multinationals from shifting their profits around the world to low-tax jurisdictions, escaping the attentions of HM Revenue and Customs.

The finance minister said this would end the practice of businesses using foreign branches and subsidiaries when reclaiming VAT on overheads.

Raising funds from inheritance tax

The Government will also look at deeds of variation, said Osborne as he announced a review will be conducted into the use of such deeds to cut inheritance tax.

This is believed to be aimed at Ed Miliband, whose mother used one of these around 20 years ago.

Osborne said he will consult the opposition leader, "unless Labour has conducted its own deed of variation" (changed its leader) by then.

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