The UK Treasury Department are getting intio a tizz about firms with UK operations like Google, Facebook and Apple (among many more) which have been able to evade large tranches of corporation taxes (though the firms pay National Insurance and personal income taxes). We (the tax-paying public) are supposed to infer that the directors of these businesses suffer from a moral lapse.
The UK Treasury Department could stop such tax evasion quite easily by writing clear law in the first place. One reason why it won’t is that it needs to establish some ‘escape routes’ for those firms the government actually want to favour (usually including defence companies. Another reason is that all Treasury Departments are competing with others in other countries and can’t afford to make their taxation schedules too easy to understand because they’ll be directly undermined by others. Yet another reason is that, increasingly in recent years, senior Treasury personnel have been retiring early and thus taking their knowledge of the current hyper-complex taxation system and its escape routes with them. Many of these personnel then become consultants to many of the largest companies which have continuing issues with their Treasury Departments.
Will the present type of taxation system ever end? No. It’s too convenient to Treasury Departments and, more recently, their most senior personnel who will no doubt retire at the first opportunity. As long as countries tax incomes of individuals and businesses and not expenditures then taxation will become increasingly complex and thus evadable so long as there are experts on tap.