Re: >"Vodafone insisted it was fully compliant with existing tax laws"
Vodafone made money by selling phones in Germany to Germans. Then stashed the money in Luxembourg. The question then becomes, is this profit taxable in the UK? UK law (controlled foreign . companies, or CFC) said yes. EU law said no. EU law beats UK law: therefore not taxable in the UK.
So ,what was that settlement for £1.25 billion?
Well, everyone agrees that when you move those profits out of Luxembourg and into the UK in order to pay a dividend then UK tax is applicalbe. Full UK rate minus whatever has already been paid in foreign.
Wat did Vodafone do? Bring some of the profits back in order to pay a dividend. Thus paid UK tax. This is why the tax payments were over two years: because they brought the money back in stages.
There never was a £6 billion tax bill. Private Eye made it up entirely (yes, I have indeed had correspondence with Richard Brooks, the PE journo and it really is true. They calculated that tax bill as if the law was different. But the law ain't different).
There just wasn't a Voda deal with Hartnett or anyone else. There was just the application of the law as it is written.
Godlman Sachs? Yes, that was a deal. But Voda just not.