Almost one in four of Britain’s biggest listed companies paid no corporation tax in this country last year – and almost half fail to disclose their tax payments to the UK at all, according to research by The Mail on Sunday.

In comparison, income taxes raised £151 billion (32 per cent of the total), while VAT raised £98 billion (21 per cent).

Mining giants Xstrata (since merged with commodities group Glencore), Anglo America and Tullow Oil paid far less than one per cent of their turnover in tax in Britain. In recent years, the London stock market has attracted a growing number of overseas companies to list and have their shares traded in the City.

The 12 paid £5.6 billion in corporation taxes in other countries.

The figures revealed today are likely to fuel the debate about tax.

Revenue & Customs has been criticised for naming and shaming small firms dodging their tax bills, while doing nothing to tackle big tax avoiders such as Starbucks, Amazon and Google.

The news also comes as politicians in Europe agreed new rules to force banks to reveal how much tax they pay in each country they operate.

But our tax rules are letting them off paying because it’s so easy to offset costs here.

It’s time to look at why we are so generous.’Figures from HM Revenue & Customs show corporation tax raised £43 billion in the 2011-2012 tax year, about nine per cent of the total tax take.

Disclosure of taxes paid on a country basis has been pushed through in America for international mining and oil companies, a step followed up by Europe – which has since led the way in forcing banks to make similar disclosures in the future.

Centrica, owners of British Gas, last week issued a report it had commissioned by consultants Oxford Economics, demonstrating what it said was its contribution to the British economy – including £1.1 billion in taxes.

The tech giant was topped by car seller Auto Trader and Rentokil Initial, a pest control business that says its approach to management is “one of open, accessible [and] responsible leadership”.