Tax, What Tax?

UBO:

We're here today with Sir John Wyndrell, of Wyndrell Holdings.

Sir John:

Nope, sorry, never heard of them.

UBO:

I beg your pardon?

Sir John:

This Winsome Holdings, or whatever.

UBO:

Wyndrell Holdings.

Sir John:

Yes, them. Can't say I've ever come across them.

UBO:

You are the company's managing director.

Sir John:

I don't know who gave you that idea.

UBO:

Well, when we phoned your office...

Sir John:

No, don't have an office.

UBO:

... your secretary told us that...

Sir John:

Don't have a secretary. Good job too. Don't have an office, you see, so there would be nowhere for her to work.

UBO:

Sir John, when we phoned your office your secretary told us that you were the very person we needed to talk to in connection with Wyndrell Holdings.

Sir John:

Can't see how she could have. Apart from anything else, I don't have a phone. No, I'm afraid there must have been some terrible mix up. I'm nothing to do with this Winkle Holdings of which you speak.

UBO:

But you're listed as a director by Companies House.

Sir John:

Must be some other feller.

UBO:

You are regularly quoted in newspapers and periodicals as a spokesman for the firm.

Sir John:

I think you must have an overactive imagination.

UBO:

It was printed on the business card you gave us when you came in.

Sir John:

Well, yes... what? Oh, Wyndrell Holdings! Sorry, I must have misheard. I have an ear infection. Yes, now you come to mention it, I think I do have some slight connection with the firm.

UBO:

Perhaps, then, you could comment on certain details concerning tax affairs that have recently come to light?

Sir John:

Well, I'm not sure I have those details at my fingertips. Vis-à-vis the company structure, I usually find myself more on the catering side of things.

UBO:

I'm sure you can fill us in on the basics. We understand that Wyndrell Holdings is not registered in the UK?

Sir John:

Yes it is.

UBO:

No it isn't.

Sir John:

Well all right, but so what?

UBO:

In recent days speculation has focussed on your use of a tax haven to avoid paying tax.

Sir John:

Ah, I think you mean evade paying tax.

UBO:

Do we?

Sir John:

Evade? Avoid? Which one is it that is legal? Either way, there is nothing illegal about what we're doing. Not that I know what we're doing, of course. We're probably not doing anything.

UBO:

Don't you think it's rather unethical.

Sir John:

Look I think you're being terribly parochial about all this. We operate in a global market. We have to be based somewhere - who cares if it's Panama or the British Virgin Islands or Timbuctoo for that matter?

UBO:

Or the Moon?

Sir John:

Yes, well... what's that?

UBO:

Your company's registered office is on the Moon.

Sir John:

Well exactly... err...

UBO:

Commuting must be a bit of a problem. Is it actually possible to register a company on the Moon?

Sir John:

I imagine it must be if, as you say, my company is registered there.

UBO:

So how does it work, then? After all, there is no one there to register it with.

Sir John:

Yes there is. There's a little feller who works out of an office in the Sea of Tranquillity.

UBO:

No there isn't.

Sir John:

Yes there is.

UBO:

No there isn't. There hasn't been anyone on the Moon since 1972.

Sir John:

He's been on his lunch break.

UBO:

All right, we can see that we're not going to get any sense from you.

Sir John:

Yes you are.

UBO:

Obviously you were determined from the outset that you were just going to be silly.

Sir John:

Oh, no, no, no, no, no.

UBO:

I think we'll bring this interview to a close, Sir John.

Sir John:

Sir who? I don't think I've met him, but if I should bump into him I'll let you know you're looking for him. Bye.

 


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