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General Chat Thread, MPs condemn Amazon executive over tax payments in General; Originally Posted by zag I really don't see the problem here. I'm not a tax expert but as far as ...
  1. #16


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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    I really don't see the problem here. I'm not a tax expert but as far as I'm aware corporation tax is based on profits and has nothing to do with turnover.

    Profits can be moved all around the world perfectly legally, I don't believe there is any law stopping it.
    While it is not illegal, it is a problem for local small businesses, who can't spend thousands on expert tax loophole advisor and so end up unable to compete on an equal footing. Markets should be fair.

  2. #17

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    Small businesses can never compete head-to-head with large global companies; they need to differentiate and provide customised & tailored products & services that the big companies aren't interested in.

    Markets are never fair, & never will be. You cannot legislate fairness..................

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    Whilst I understand why companies do it...and don't personally see the point of the inquiry unless they are willing to change the tax laws, I dont think you can excuse something "just because it is legal".

    If tomorrow murder was made legal for the day, it wouldn't make it O.K to finish off the lady in Tesco who is taking too long at the self service check out. The same applies to tax avoidance in my opinion. Its scummy and if everyone did it our Country would be in much more of a mess than it is..FACT

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    Quote Originally Posted by titch View Post
    Whilst I understand why companies do it...and don't personally see the point of the inquiry unless they are willing to change the tax laws, I dont think you can excuse something "just because it is legal".

    If tomorrow murder was made legal for the day, it wouldn't make it O.K to finish off the lady in Tesco who is taking too long at the self service check out. The same applies to tax avoidance in my opinion. Its scummy and if everyone did it our Country would be in much more of a mess than it is..FACT
    You are confusing morality with legality.
    So, you are really saying that putting money in an ISA, which isnt taxed and is therefore a legal tax avoidance, is morally reprehensible and you would never do it?

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by titch View Post
    If tomorrow murder was made legal for the day, it wouldn't make it O.K to finish off the lady in Tesco who is taking too long at the self service check out. The same applies to tax avoidance in my opinion. Its scummy and if everyone did it our Country would be in much more of a mess than it is..FACT
    Exactly! Assuming those "It's OK to use a bow to shoot a Welsh/French man in town x" laws aren't all made up, it doesn't mean people should sit there with a longbow hoping to be able to murder someone.

    If "Have I Got News For You" the other week was accurate, Costa managed to pay a much more reasonable amount of tax than Starbucks. They are a "British" multinational, though.

    If the "make as much money as possible" ethos is actually a legal requirement in the US, how do they justify having offices that are anything but basic, or the salaries/perks of executives? How are lawyers allowed to work pro bono?

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    Small businesses can never compete head-to-head with large global companies; they need to differentiate and provide customised & tailored products & services that the big companies aren't interested in.
    Small companies can compete. Differentiation is as you suggest, the basis of almost any competition, but if one company is paying no tax while the other has no choice, then the cards are being stacked unfairly.

    Markets are never fair, & never will be. You cannot legislate fairness..................
    Legalising 'fairness' lies at the heart of almost any regulatory framework. If we didn't try and legalise fairness, then we wouldn't bother to have any consumer protection law, any insider trading laws etc etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Small companies can compete. Differentiation is as you suggest, the basis of almost any competition, but if one company is paying no tax while the other has no choice, then the cards are being stacked unfairly.
    The fairest thing would be for these small companies to actually start offshoring their firms and avoid paying corporation tax themselves.
    If it was done on a really epic scale by everyone then the Govt. would soon change the rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    The fairest thing would be for these small companies to actually start offshoring their firms and avoid paying corporation tax themselves.
    If it was done on a really epic scale by everyone then the Govt. would soon change the rules.
    Ha! I was thinking much the same. We should all become more like the Italians, were avoiding paying Tax is almost a national sport. Of course, as soon as the little people start playing that game, governments soon take notice. IR35 anyone?
    Last edited by pcstru; 13th November 2012 at 06:05 PM.

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    The problem any Govt faces is that corporate tax avoidance is a global problem; Global companies transfer asset value, jobs & profit to wherever they get the best 'deal'. As countries all over the world operate with different tax rules it is difficult to see how you could legislate without agreement internationally. The same goes for financial regulation with things like financial transaction taxes. Taxes on sales simply get passed on to the consumer. It made me laugh when a spokesperson for one of the major coffee house chains said they paid their taxes & as an example quoted how much VAT they handed over to HMRC.....

    There was a lengthy article in the press about the water companies & the massive dividends they were paying to their 'owners'.... mostly venture capitalists. The water companies claim they cannot afford to invest without massive increases in customer charges at the same time as they are handing over huge sums of money to their executives & shareholders.

    Water companies pay little or no tax on huge profits | Business | The Observer

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    I sometimes feel that those in power are so out of touch with how angry us "commoners" are that we're inching closer to revolution. Unfortunately, while the idea doesn't sound too bad, history suggests that we'd be no better off. Mind you, as long as the majority of the public aren't starving and have enough drivel on the TV to amuse them they'll stay relatively docile. Am I the only one who suspects "Downton" is in fact subtle brainwashing for the coming days when going into service is a common career choice?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post

    If the "make as much money as possible" ethos is actually a legal requirement in the US, how do they justify having offices that are anything but basic, or the salaries/perks of executives?
    happy workers are productive workers
    if you dont pay those salaries/benefits the top people move to someone else who will and so you lose (for want of a better word) expertise

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    How are lawyers allowed to work pro bono?
    it generates "good will" publicity which makes the company look good so people are more likely to use them so they make more money

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    happy workers are productive workers
    if you dont pay those salaries/benefits the top people move to someone else who will and so you lose (for want of a better word) expertise
    A theory that, strangely, only seems to apply to those nearer the top of the food chain.

    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    it generates "good will" publicity which makes the company look good so people are more likely to use them so they make more money
    Proof that this is so? Or is it just a feeling? I have a feeling that if companies were paying their taxes in would generate far greater good will. Also, in the US at least, surely giving free services away is next to Communism? Look at the response Obama has had to his healthcare ideas.

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    im not saying i agree with it thats just my read

    Quote Originally Posted by LeMarchand View Post
    A theory that, strangely, only seems to apply to those nearer the top of the food chain.
    presumably its harder to replace a ceo than an assembly line worker is the thinking esp with high unemployment

    Quote Originally Posted by LeMarchand View Post
    Proof that this is so? Or is it just a feeling?
    can you ever prove advertising goodwill?


    Quote Originally Posted by LeMarchand View Post
    I have a feeling that if companies were paying their taxes in would generate far greater good will. Also, in the US at least, surely giving free services away is next to Communism? Look at the response Obama has had to his healthcare ideas.
    the health issue over there has got silly with people on both sides just making up scaremongering stories (though fox news does seem very good at this) and if you looked at the "visitors" to republicans in washington and donations id bet a lot of them get money from healthcare providers so its not in their personal interest to change the system even if it would work out cheaper/better for everyone so they fight tooth and nail to keep their "paymasters" happy. Look at romney argues forcefully against obamacare institutes something very similar in the state he was/is governor of

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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    presumably its harder to replace a ceo than an assembly line worker is the thinking esp with high unemployment
    Possibly (though I have reservations), but it's not just at CEO level that people apply that theory. It seems to be that once people are paid more than 50k (wild guess) they seemingly become "difficult to replace" and have to be pandered to. I suspect that in reality many people could do an equally good/bad job but don't have the contacts to get the job.

    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    can you ever prove advertising goodwill?
    No, so they are failing in their duty to make as much moolah as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    the health issue over there has got silly with people on both sides just making up scaremongering stories (though fox news does seem very good at this) and if you looked at the "visitors" to republicans in washington and donations id bet a lot of them get money from healthcare providers so its not in their personal interest to change the system even if it would work out cheaper/better for everyone so they fight tooth and nail to keep their "paymasters" happy. Look at romney argues forcefully against obamacare institutes something very similar in the state he was/is governor of
    It was more the people you'd see in various vox pops that I was thinking about. The sort of people who would almost certainly benefit from Obama's ideas, but who found them "un-American",

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