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Page last updated at 10:13 GMT, Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Is tax avoidance moral?


Should companies themselves, or their advisers, or the authorities be blamed for aggressive tax avoidance?

The so-called "big four" accountancy companies - KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and PwC - all have offices in tax havens and advise companies on their tax affairs - including some high profile names like Starbucks and Google. But none of that is against the law.

Mary Monfries, head of tax at PwC, told Today presenter Evan Davis that tax advice given by her firm "cannot be based on any misinterpretation or non-disclosure of the facts".

But Richard Murphy, adviser to the Tax Justice Network, said that there will not be full disclosure in many tax havens "because there is no tax authority to declare it to".

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