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lobsterboy
lobsterboy Site Moderator 1014002 forum postslobsterboy vcard United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
12 Nov 2012 - 10:00 AM


Quote: Perhaps, but it does seem a bit perverse to attempt to "shame" companies who are in compliance with the law as it stands. A touch hypocritical too, unless the feeling is that we should all volunteer to pay more tax than we are required to by law.

There is a difference between what you are required to pay and what you go out of your way to avoid. Moving head offices to tax havens or following Phillip Greens example is basically just a way of avoiding your responsibilities - no different to a father who moves to another country to avoid paying maintenance AFAICS.

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12 Nov 2012 - 10:00 AM

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thewilliam
12 Nov 2012 - 10:52 AM

The big corporations and wealthy individuals seem to finance our political system and it won't be for altruistic motives.

It's an investment and the pay-back is that the government keeps the tax laws loose enough so that companies and rich individuals can get away with paying very little tax.

He who pays the piper .....

collywobles
12 Nov 2012 - 10:55 AM

Spot on Lobsterboy, there is a social resposibility to pay your fair share. These companies take all the benefits that our society provide, Policing, Health, Educating our children so they can become their employees, the list is long -- and yet they are deceiptful in avoiding paying their fair share of taxes despite the millions in profit they make.. I avoid companies who are on the list and if everyone else did the same they might rethink their resposibilities.

€olin

brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 1110152 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
12 Nov 2012 - 11:04 AM


Quote: deceiptful in avoiding paying their fair share of taxes

No, they make use of the tax laws as they are presently configured, deceitful tax avoidance is Tax Evasion which is illegal, tax avoidance is not

Once again, you attack the symptoms of bad tax law not the cause, which are the laws themselves

mikehit
mikehit  46104 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
12 Nov 2012 - 11:16 AM


Quote: I avoid companies who are on the list

So where do you buy your food and clothes from?

Jestertheclown
12 Nov 2012 - 11:27 AM


Quote: I avoid companies who are on the list

Then you're throwing money away for no purpose.

I use Am*zon and others because I can buy the things I want more cheaply. I'm not concerned that they're making use of a perfectly legal means of saving themselves a few quid. I'd do precisely the same if the opportunity arose.
And so would 99% of the human race.

brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 1110152 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
12 Nov 2012 - 11:31 AM

As an example at the individual level:

you have some money you want to save, do you put it into a tax paying savings account or into one which doesn't pay tax, such as an ISA?

If they both pay the same interest rate I know where my money goes and I don't feel the least bit guilty about it Grin

mdpontin
mdpontin  106016 forum posts Scotland
12 Nov 2012 - 12:24 PM


Quote: ...just a way of avoiding your responsibilities...

Which set of responsibilities? Company directors have a responsibility to their shareholders to maximise return on investment by any legal means at their disposal. As has been mentioned before, the biggest shareholders/investors in major companies are usually financial institutions rather than individuals, including pension funds among others. Everything is interconnected - it's rarely about some so-called "fat cat" trying to squeeze a few more millions out of the system at the expense of ordinary people. Paying out millions in tax which could have been legally avoided makes little commercial sense.

Do I like the thought of UK companies relocating their headquarters overseas for tax reasons? No. But they're perfectly entitled to do so, and no amount of whinging on my part will stop that. If the law can be changed to make this less likely to happen in future, without losing more tax income for the Treasury than it saves by discouraging inward investment, good.


Quote: No, they make use of the tax laws as they are presently configured, deceitful tax avoidance is Tax Evasion which is illegal, tax avoidance is not

Once again, you attack the symptoms of bad tax law not the cause, which are the laws themselves

Exactly.

Last Modified By mdpontin at 12 Nov 2012 - 12:25 PM
thewilliam
12 Nov 2012 - 12:38 PM


Quote: deceiptful in avoiding paying their fair share of taxes

No, they make use of the tax laws as they are presently configured, deceitful tax avoidance is Tax Evasion which is illegal, tax avoidance is not

Once again, you attack the symptoms of bad tax law not the cause, which are the laws themselves

Laws that have been carefully framed so that "our people" can benefit!

strawman
strawman  1021997 forum posts United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
12 Nov 2012 - 12:47 PM

I think it is the responsibility of the government/tax officials to set the taxes up so they can be gathered correctly. there are definitions in law about what is or is not legal. But when governments spot that the spirit of the law is being broken they should look to update the law.

Individuals and companies are of course free to choose to do what they wish to maximise their income within the law. But individuals are also at liberty to impose their own moral conduct, as long as it is within the law.

So my view is that corp taxes need looking into by tax officials who should be working under guidance from the government on what the objectives of the tax laws are. Many tax laws can be said to be unfair. Some will say high rate tax payers paying into pensions avoiding 40% tax is unfair. While others will state that the tax rate should be set at the family income level not the individual income level, so you get anomalies like child tax credit. Over to our authorities to act, and if individuals choose to take actions to not use such companies it may push them back in line. For example Costa Coffee its not like they are pushing the price down for consumers is it Tongue

Last Modified By strawman at 12 Nov 2012 - 12:52 PM
Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139385 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
12 Nov 2012 - 1:10 PM

There has long been a debate about having a general tax avoidance clause in legislation, i.e. if it looks like an attempt to pay less tax by artificial means - e.g. non commercial inter-company transactions - then it is treated as evasion, and thus unlawful.

I recall Osborne saying something about this in the last Budget, but I don't know what became of it. Probably nothing.................. as usual.

brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 1110152 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
12 Nov 2012 - 1:55 PM

I find it rather typical to hear in today's lunchtime news that senior execs of multinationals have been summoned to a committee of MPs to justify why they are paying "So little Tax".

Surely we should be calling these same MP's to account to find out why they have allowed to tax system to become such a shambles that multinationals and other larger organsiations are not required by law to pay more tax?

Once again, those that cause the problem are wriggling out of their responsibilty by attacking those making perfectly legal use of the current Tax system

Scapegoating is so much easier than addmitting there is a problem and solving it! I despair of our poor bloody country sometimes Sad

lobsterboy
lobsterboy Site Moderator 1014002 forum postslobsterboy vcard United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
12 Nov 2012 - 2:11 PM


Quote: There has long been a debate about having a general tax avoidance clause in legislation, i.e. if it looks like an attempt to pay less tax by artificial means - e.g. non commercial inter-company transactions - then it is treated as evasion, and thus unlawful.

That would be the sort of thing we need - I think the US has a similarly law. Though as thewilliam would say, I doubt it will happen as it might not go down well with "our people" Wink

thewilliam
12 Nov 2012 - 3:10 PM

To get back to the original point of the thread, She-who-must-be-obeyed and I went to our local Comet to see whether they had any nice lap-top deals in their closing down sale. The prices weren't exactly generous and we can do better at Misco.

Last Modified By thewilliam at 12 Nov 2012 - 3:11 PM
brian1208
brian1208 e2 Member 1110152 forum postsbrian1208 vcard United Kingdom12 Constructive Critique Points
12 Nov 2012 - 3:21 PM

The best I've seen so far locally seems to be 10% off, as you say, not exactly generous

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