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General Chat Thread, MPs condemn Amazon executive over tax payments in General; I no longer purchase anything from them. Won't make a difference but it will make me feel better. BBC News ...
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    mattx's Avatar
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    MPs condemn Amazon executive over tax payments

    I no longer purchase anything from them. Won't make a difference but it will make me feel better.

    BBC News - MPs condemn Amazon executive over tax payments

    And at last it's good to see Margaret Hodge give some lip back. Toffy Eton Posh Boy 'Hug A Hoodie' Dave could learn a thing or two.
    Last edited by mattx; 12th November 2012 at 06:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattx View Post
    I no longer purchase anything from them. Won't make a difference but it will make me feel better.

    BBC News - MPs condemn Amazon executive over tax payments

    And at last it's good to see Margaret Hodge give some lip back. Toffy Eton Posh Boy 'Hug A Hoodie' Dave could learn a thing or two.
    Is that The Rt Hon Lady Hodge, whose family company paid 0.01% tax on its revenues in the UK last year?

    Thank goodness we've got The Rt Hon Lady Hodge, privately educated daughter of steel magnate Hans Oppenheimer, dealing with this instead of 'Toffy Eton Posh Boy Dave' with his wealthy background and private education. We certainly dodged a bullet there!

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    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatpackhamster View Post
    Is that The Rt Hon Lady Hodge, whose family company paid 0.01% tax on its revenues in the UK last year?
    It is indeed. There was an article in (I think) the Independent about her and her low-tax business interests. There certainly seems to be parallels with the pot/kettle hue comparison scenario.

    I don't understand how MPs think they're up to the job of grilling these characters. They couldn't grill a sausage.
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 13th November 2012 at 10:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnixx View Post
    It is indeed. There was an article in (I think) the Independent about her and her low-tax business interests. There certainly seems to be parallels with the pot/kettle hue comparison scenario.

    I don't understand how MPs think they're up to the job of grilling these characters. They couldn't grill a sausage.
    I thought they did a poor job of asking questions, to be fair i only saw half of the amazon bloke and the google bloke but the google bloke was completely up front and they didn't ask follow up questions they just kept intentionally "not getting it" and asking the same questions. From what i understand they don't sell the advertising in the UK they sell it in ireland do what they should have been asking is when someone makes a purchase are they making it from Google Ireland and then where that money ends up. I loved that google UK income is payed from google ireland for "services" and i understand the argument that "the R&D and engineers are in america" but the SALES of advertising are in the UK even if they are actually bought from google ireland the sale itself is by a UK company in the UK

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    zag
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    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.

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    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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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.
    True. But it's all rabbit out of the hat stuff. Starbucks buys its coffee from..... Starbucks in Switzerland! In the meantime, domestic, non-multinational companies are stumping up tax to pay for the NHS, police, etc, while savvy multinationals are avoiding it.
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 13th November 2012 at 11:39 AM.

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    zag
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    I could understand the outrage if these were English companies trying to avoid tax. But they are not, all are American I think.

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    What I find stupid about all this, is HMRC receive a breakdown of finances of all UK companies as required by law. Instead of naming and shaming they just need to tighten up the rules accountants can apply on behalf of these companies.

    There does seem to be a familar pattern emerging. Problems with banks - lack of regulation, problems with companies declaring their finances - lack of regulation, MPs abusing their expenses - lack of regulation.

    If the Government were seriously bothered about this, they could sort it out very quickly. Every year HMRC publish new tax codes due to changes of the tax system (by the Chancellor) and all companies and accountants receive this through the post.

    Naming and shaming will do absolutely nothing in the longterm. If the Government 'properly' sorted out the tax system, we'd have something more interesting to read about in the press!

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    I could understand the outrage if these were English companies trying to avoid tax. But they are not, all are American I think.
    Nope. They are English companies. Starbucks in the UK is 'Starbucks Coffee Company UK Ltd' for example. So, it is a company registered in the UK at Companies House.

    The issue is the clever fiddling of books so the 'license' they pay to use the name 'Starbucks' covers the profits they've made in the UK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    What I find stupid about all this, is HMRC receive a breakdown of finances of all UK companies as required by law. Instead of naming and shaming they just need to tighten up the rules accountants can apply on behalf of these companies.

    There does seem to be a familar pattern emerging. Problems with banks - lack of regulation, problems with companies declaring their finances - lack of regulation, MPs abusing their expenses - lack of regulation.

    If the Government were seriously bothered about this, they could sort it out very quickly. Every year HMRC publish new tax codes due to changes of the tax system (by the Chancellor) and all companies and accountants receive this through the post.

    Naming and shaming will do absolutely nothing in the longterm. If the Government 'properly' sorted out the tax system, we'd have something more interesting to read about in the press!
    Indeed. It's not the companies fault that they are paying a low tax rate, that is their prerogative.
    Any criticism should be leveled at Government for allowing the situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Indeed. It's not the companies fault that they are paying a low tax rate, that is their prerogative.
    Any criticism should be leveled at Government for allowing the situation.
    Absolutely. They need to target tax avoidance and close the loopholes. After all, if you were asked whether you wanted to avoid tax legally, would you want to? I know I would!

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    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Indeed. It's not the companies fault that they are paying a low tax rate, that is their prerogative.
    Any criticism should be leveled at Government for allowing the situation.
    I'd go further - it's the company's obligation to the shareholders to minimise the tax exposure through any legal means.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnixx View Post
    I'd go further - it's the company's obligation to the shareholders to minimise the tax exposure through any legal means.
    Not in the UK it isn't. However, in the USA it is. It is a legal requirement for them to make as much money as possible.

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    This is why the Government's approach is totally wrong. The rules, regulations etc... are there in black and white and any good accountant should know them all. All the Government need to do is to properly re-write the rules, issue new tax codes come April 2013 (as they will anyway) and be done with it.

    All this faffing around is just wasting time and won't generate higher revenues. Statistically, there have been more UK Ltd Company registrations in the past 2/3 years then ever recorded before. All these companies will apply the existing tax regulations unless HMRC and George Osbourne get together and properly resolve these issues.

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    Global companies have been moving profit & business costs around for years to avoid taxes, unfortunately it is legal & there is nothing that can be done to fix it under current laws. There is no point in appealing to their conscience or arguing that companies have a moral responsibility..... companies don't have either.

    In a previous life when I worked for a 'large' global computer company, components & assemblies for our products would be moved from country to country, effectively transferring asset value by taking advantage of exchange rates, or local tax rates. You simply set an internal price for parts, assemblies, labour costs & cross charged these to other subsidiaries. Ultimately the goal was to make the profits in the countries where corporate taxes were lowest and inflate costs that could be offset against taxes where the corporate taxes were highest.

    This is not a new phenomenon....

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