As we all know capitalism is brilliant. However companies, to survive and prosper, have several duties of care. Their first duty is to their customers, only by looking after these people can they possibly do anything else. Their second duty is to their workforce, who make it possible to look after their customers. Their third duty is to their investors who have risked their money in order to finance this organisation that looks after its customers. These groups of people a company cares for are called stakeholders, they have a stake in its existence and success.
But companies must also pay a huge amount of money to government in a whole range of taxes: VAT, PAYE, business rate, corporation tax, excise duty, capital gains tax and so on. This money is supposed to be used to provide services, most of which the company doesn’t want or need and most of which are incredibly badly and inefficiently provided by a state which does not care for its customers.
Corporation tax is the very worst of taxes. It takes away from the company the money it has earned. This is the money used for investment and for job creation. So the more corporation tax a government collects the less investment and jobs there will be. This is an economic fact. Also remember that any money a company pays out in dividends or bonuses attracts income tax on the recipients so is a completely different matter to retained earnings used for investment, which really should not be taxed at all. Most lefties I see complaining about corporate taxation do not understand any of this.
Governments know just how bad corporation tax is for the country, it is national self harm. So they have two tactics to minimise its impact. The first is to reduce the rate at which it is levied. UK corporation Tax in 1980 was 52%. This has very sensibly been reduced till it is now 21%. The second tactic is to create loopholes so that businesses can escape paying it, which is good for everyone. Successive chancellors have done this, Gordon Brown created lots of them (look at his 0% small business corporation tax rate, one of his many failures). One of the major factors behind the British economy doing so well now is the minimisation of this nasty tax.
So it is glaringly obvious that every company has a moral and economic duty to legally avoid paying corporation tax as much as they possibly can. They owe this to their main stakeholders and to the wider economy. They can far more usefully use this money to good effect than any government could possibly ever do.