Tax Debate | ACCA Global
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With tax avoidance stories making news headlines on seemingly a weekly basis, the question of whether certain taxpayers contribute fairly to society is high in people's minds. Two sides to this story are "Tax Justice", where campaigners believe that some taxpayers are gaming the system too hard to gain unfair tax advantages, and "Tax Planning" which expounds that if the law is being followed then there's nothing wrong with that. In this debate, two leading figures, one from each field will debate the question, ’Does tax avoidance reveal a widening disconnect between transnational companies and the societies in which they operate’.


Tax Planning Side:

Tim Davies, UK Head of Tax
Tim has over 17 year’s tax experience including Inspector of Taxes and roles in Industry along with 10 years “Big 4” experience.  He was appointed Mazars UK Head of Tax in 2011.

Tim is Mazars UK Head of Tax and was elected to the UK Executive on 1 September 2012.  He joined Mazars as Tax Partner in June 2006 and was appointed UK Head of Tax in February 2011 when he also joined Mazars Global Tax Board with responsibility for developing the global specialist tax groups.

Prior to joining Mazars, Tim spent 12 years in the Big 4, 9 of those with PwC in Birmingham and London and 3 years with Ernst & Young.  Before joining PwC (Coopers & Lybrand) in Birmingham, Tim also worked for 2 financial service companies and trained as an HMRC Inspector of Taxes.

  • Is tax planning now dead?
  • Is there a place for artificial structures with limited substance?
  • Should advisers be regulated?
  • Can you still ‘plan’ and pay a ‘fair share’?


Tax Justice Side:

John Christensen, Director, Tax Justice Network
John Christensen directs the Tax Justice Network, an expert-led network which leads global efforts to tackle tax havens.  Trained as a forensic investigator and economist, he has worked in many countries around the world, including a period working in offshore financial services with Touche Ross & Co.  For 11 years he was Economic Adviser to the government of the British Channel Island of Jersey.  In 2003 he became what the Guardian has described as "the unlikely figurehead of a worldwide campaign against tax avoidance." 

Outline of key points:

  • Tax avoidance causes a variety of harms, including damaging institutional quality, public revenues, market integrity, and the efficiency of resource use;
  • Tax avoidance undermines claims made about corporate social responsibility;
  • Claims that directors have a fiduciary duty to avoid tax are without substance;
  • Tax avoidance exacerbates inequality and poverty -- it is another unacceptable face of capitalism;
  • Tax avoidance is anti-market - it causes anti-competitive distortions that deny public choice.



Vincent Neate, KPMG
Vincent is a partner at KPMG in London where he is responsible for the Sustainability Services Practice.  His experience is in working with international businesses across a broad range of issues encompassing governance, finance and risk.  In his current role his focus is on the three R’s – Responsible Capitalism, Responsible Finance and Responsible Business. 

Vincent’s client base has been drawn from across the world including the USA, South America, Continental Europe and Africa.  He therefore brings a good commercial perspective with an international outlook.

Vincent has a degree in Philosophy from the University of Liverpool, qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1995 and is a master-practitioner of Neurolinguistic Programming.



6.00pm   Registration
6.30pm   Debate
8.00pm   Q&A and Networking
9.00pm   Close


Cost per delegate Free


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+44 844 894 4821
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Northampton University
Northampton Business School
Park Campus, Boughton Green Road


Date: 06 November 2014
Start Time: 18:00 GMT
Duration: 3 hours
CPD Units: 3