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Taxation is governed by law, if the law allows Tax Avoidance then all this talk of the "Moral Obligation to pay Tax" is just so much cant.
What is needed is for the Politicians and the Legal System to get off their fat backsides and sort out the law so that it is simple, clear, unavoidable and generates the tax required to enable the business of Government to be carried out
In my view the underlying problem is twofold:
Political / economic difficulties arising from the fact that business is multi-national and no government wants to be seen to disadvantage their country when it comes to attracting business
Political and judiciary incompetence, no one has a clue how to sort out the historical buggers muddle that passes as tax law in this (and many other) countries
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Quote: Taxation is governed by law, if the law allows Tax Avoidance then all this talk of the "Moral Obligation to pay Tax" is just so much cant.
Its not really though is it, just because you can find a loophole in the law it does not make your actions suddenly moral. just because a father can avoid paying maintenance on his kids by employing a clever lawyer or moving his money off-shore it doesn't suddenly make him a pillar of virtue.
If a company uses similar methods to avoid contributing to the roads. policing, fire service, education , NHS,etc that it is using every day then it is just as immoral. Its funny now quick Starbucks were to call the Police to remove the UK uncut protesters from their shops, yet are really keen to avoid actually paying for those same police.
Well said, Lobster...
I thought the tax laws were framed so that "our people" could legally avoid paying tax. Individuals and corporations who donate to political parties do so because it yields a profit. The lax tax regime is just one benefit.
Personal taxation, and corporate taxation, are two very different things.
If you are an employee, then you just pay your tax... it isn't overtly complicated... and your employer deducts it from your salary each month.
Your employer on the other hand, has to juggle with perhaps too much taxation legislation that changes annually. They have corporation tax too, and will have people either as employees or consultants who will work to the best of their ability to reduce the taxation footprint of the company.
The headline issue at the moment is how companies seemingly making huge profits can use the law to reduce a potentially large corporate tax bill to next to nothing. As is the case, the thousands of companies up and down the land who use taxation laws to reduce their own tax bills to make a struggling business viable is ignored. Any change to corporate tax would hit these companies too, many of whom may no longer be viable as a result.
Anyway, I think a certain dog might not have a job staring into a gramophone for much longer... getting back to an earlier post of a failed business model.
Quote: I thought the tax laws were framed so that "our people" could legally avoid paying tax. Individuals and corporations who donate to political parties do so because it yields a profit. The lax tax regime is just one benefit.
Nope. The same tax rule applies to any business - if you have to pay royalties for using something or if you have to pay a franchise payment for your business it is tax deductible even where the payment is to a company based overseas. So where is the tax 'lax'?
How do you tighten up on this one area without increasing the running costs of hundreds of small businesses?
I am not saying I agree with what Starbucks has done. As one commentator said many years ago on a different matter 'regardless of legality, if your immediate thought is that it is wrong then it is likely to be wrong'.
It looks like Google has thown a bit of ordure at the air circulation device:
Quote: Google chairman Eric Schmidt has said he is proud of the company's tax structure, which has been heavily criticised by lawmakers around the world.
In an interview reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday, Schmidt said the company was simply engaged in "capitalism".
"I am very proud of the structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate," Schmidt said. "It's called capitalism. We are proudly capitalistic. I'm not confused about this."
But I heard htis mornign that America is waking up to the fact that moving all costs to Bermuda is depriving the US of tax revenue. And one thing they don't want it the US agreeing with people over here on how we should proceed!
Quote: While testifying to the committee, Google's vice president for Northern and Central Europe, Matt Brittin, justified Google's low corporation tax payments in the UK by saying that "all of the engineering work is done in California".
This came as a surprise to Google's London office, which — according to the firm's own website — is "one of Google's largest engineering operations in Europe", having been instrumental in developing "Voice Search, Local Search, Maps, TV, YouTube and core infrastructure".
We live in a global village... the joys of "multi-nationals" is being able to choose where they base themselves for the most efficient tax bills.
The ways we do business, with whom we do business, and even the items that are the subject of business, are undergoing radical transformations. Taxation is just one of the many things that will change in the new world order.
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