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UK Uncut targets Fortnum and Mason... Watch

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    After all the nonsense about "bailing in" Barclays a short while ago, we now have another corker from the geniuses down at UK Uncut.

    Presumably by thinking that by targeting the Queen's grocers, Fortnum and Mason, they were going after everything that was fat cat-esque and privileged.

    Fortnums is owned by the Westons, a family which is at the top of the table for charitable giving (behind the Wellcome Foundation and the Sainsburys trusts) - in addition to the tax it pays - to causes supported by the likes of UK Uncut.

    Giving upwards of £40 million a year to schools, universities, hospitals and the like. Massive plus points here then!

    Also, I hear that the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (popularly known as HSBC) is thinking of moving its headquarters back to errrr.... Hong Kong.

    The UK Uncut brigade don't like this at all, call it tax evasion and "think all foreigners living abroad should be... taxed"

    Funny all these so called "anarchists" calling for higher taxes...
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    They don't care about charity, they probably regard it as nothing more than PR to maintain the capitalist system - it is, to quote the graffiti, a class war. I know what side I'd be on if they came to Edinburgh.
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    They are just targeting success, they need to get a grip and realise these businesses employ thousands of people in this country.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Giving upwards of £40 million a year to schools, universities, hospitals and the like. Massive plus points here then!

    Also, I hear that the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (popularly known as HSBC) is thinking of moving its headquarters back to errrr.... Hong Kong.

    The UK Uncut brigade don't like this at all, call it tax evasion and "think all foreigners living abroad should be... taxed"

    Funny all these so called "anarchists" calling for higher taxes...
    Should just about make up for the £40m Associated British Foods (of which Whittison are majority shareholders) avoid (not evade) in tax every year.

    Their point is that there are loopholes in the system which are really only available to corporations and it's not right, something I largely agree with.
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    (Original post by Will Lucky)
    They are just targeting success, they need to get a grip and realise these businesses employ thousands of people in this country.
    How is F&M successful?

    Tesco, Sainsburys and even Waitrose have way more stores...
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    (Original post by Quady)
    How is F&M successful?

    Tesco, Sainsburys and even Waitrose have way more stores...
    I meant businesses more like Barclays.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)

    Also, I hear that the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (popularly known as HSBC) is thinking of moving its headquarters back to errrr.... Hong Kong.
    TBF, its British operations are merely their name stamped over what used to be Midland Bank...

    They even still use the same logo.

    However, I do have a funny feeling this takeover happened back when Hong Kong was in our hands anyway... so swings and roundabouts...
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Funny all these so called "anarchists" calling for higher taxes...
    It's the media calling them anarchists.

    Also, even the Metropolitan Police stated that these 'anarchists' were not part of the protest itself... so why do you assume they were calling for higher taxes? It's pretty obvious that they were just thugs out for a day of smashy-smashy, who couldn't care less about our country's fiscal policy.
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    (Original post by Barden)
    It's the media calling them anarchists.

    Also, even the Metropolitan Police stated that these 'anarchists' were not part of the protest itself... so why do you assume they were calling for higher taxes? It's pretty obvious that they were just thugs out for a day of smashy-smashy, who couldn't care less about our country's fiscal policy.
    True enough - I always work on the basis that if a group that doesn't have the support of even 1% of society has to shout, punch, kick and smash their point across, then it's not much of a point to begin with.
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    (Original post by electriic_ink)
    Should just about make up for the £40m Associated British Foods (of which Whittison are majority shareholders) avoid (not evade) in tax every year.

    Their point is that there are loopholes in the system which are really only available to corporations and it's not right, something I largely agree with.
    If it's a Corporation tax loophole, then it stands to reason that it would only apply to those entities which pay Corporation tax, doesn't it? But in any case, in the end, we all pay Corporation tax.

    Tax avoidance simply means arranging things so you don't pay what you don't have to pay. An entirely sensible policy. Many ordinary people in the UK are actively involved in tax avoidance. Such as moving money from savings to an ISA, so the interest is not taxed. Buying your tobacco and alcohol from lower duty jurisdictions. Or simply refusing to smoke or drink altogether. Why would you want to pay more tax than you legally had to?

    If the loophole exists, then it is because the government want it to exist, if they didn't, then they'd close it.

    Besides, a company has a responsibility to minimise the amount it pays in tax.

    In the process of doing so, it is a good thing. It keeps down the prices of goods and services that they sell.

    Who do you think will pay in the end if all that avoided tax is collected?

    Corporation Tax is just another burden on a company's bottom line, which means it just gets passed on to us in the form of higher prices and lower wages.

    Find a way to plug the avoidance in the airline industry, and guess what, the fares will go up, that's all.

    Companies are just pieces of paper, they can't pay taxes, corporate taxes are just a ploy by cynical politicians to convince us that they are keeping our taxes down, when in fact they aren't, it's just tax on the ordinary person, by the back door.

    The HMRC is on record by saying that by far the greatest sums lost in tax evasion (thats the illegal one by the way) are agricultural diesel, roll your own tobacco, cash in hand work and tax credits. You don't need to go to the Cayman Islands or Switzerland to find that going on, and I very much doubt that it's the rich that are responsible for it.

    Anyway, it's entirely delusional to believe there are all these corporate honey pots just waiting to be plundered. Those companies avoid taxes to keep their costs down and that saving was passed on to their customers years ago, so it just isn't there to be claimed back.
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    (Original post by electriic_ink)
    Should just about make up for the £40m Associated British Foods (of which Whittison are majority shareholders) avoid (not evade) in tax every year.

    Their point is that there are loopholes in the system which are really only available to corporations and it's not right, something I largely agree with.
    Whittison? The Westons own Fortnum and Mason.

    Besides, I, along with every other person in the UK are always up for a good bit of tax avoidance when I can. Obviously figures will depend on lifestyle, but let me see what I can come up with.

    I don't smoke 40 **** a day. Tax and VAT avoided per £6.13 (average price) pack of 20, £5.13, avoiding approximately £3745 annually.

    (21% of cigarettes and 58% of hand rolling tobacco consumption was non UK duty paid - evasion and avoidance).

    I like the odd drink now and again, but I'm not out every Thursday, Friday, Saturday night, at most, one or two pints per week, rather than the 20-30 or so that I could be drinking. Tax avoided annually on 18 weekly pints of beer that I don't drink - £855.

    Many people I go out with also do shots, in addition to those 20 pints. I don't. Could probably see them doing at least 2-3 shots per night, making 7 for Th/Fr/Sa. Each shot being 25ml, you'll get 40 to a 1L bottle. 52 weeks of this is about 10 bottles. Tax avoided on annual 10 bottles of vodka - £70.

    Now for your average person that refuses to smoke or drink, that's a saving of around £7500 annually on actually buying the stuff, but more importantly where the likes of UK Uncut are concerned, it's £4,670 in avoided tax per person.

    Additionally, those savvy people with that extra money will be dumping a lot of that into an ISA, avoiding 20% savings tax.

    Other little bits of tax avoidance that we get involved in - buying goods from VAT free regimes outside Europe, such as USA, Canada and China. Those nice people sending them will often write "Gift" on the package, along with putting the value under the limit for UK Customs VAT declaration (strictly speaking everything should attract VAT, but UK Customs don't have the manpower to check everything, so they set a small limit).

    I'm sure that everyone is queueing up at the VAT office to make the proper declarations on every bit of avoided (and evaded) VAT on every purchase they make from eBay or wherever.

    Now for tax evasion, the illegal bit. Ever had a cash in hand job? Most people have. Often for small amounts per week, as in a paper round, but many people still do odd jobs earning a significant amount, but don't declare every penny. You don't see most people with cash in hand jobs declaring this for PAYE and NI deductions, do you?

    So, adding up all that avoided (and evaded) tax, should we be expecting the likes of UK Uncut to come round and throw bricks through our windows?
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    I don't drive 500,000 miles every year, therefore I'm a tax avoider because I'm not paying duty and VAT on the petrol I would have bought if I did drive that much. What a stupid argument.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Whittison? The Westons own Fortnum and Mason.

    Besides, I, along with every other person in the UK are always up for a good bit of tax avoidance when I can. Obviously figures will depend on lifestyle, but let me see what I can come up with.

    I don't smoke 40 **** a day. Tax and VAT avoided per £6.13 (average price) pack of 20, £5.13, avoiding approximately £3745 annually.

    (21% of cigarettes and 58% of hand rolling tobacco consumption was non UK duty paid - evasion and avoidance).

    I like the odd drink now and again, but I'm not out every Thursday, Friday, Saturday night, at most, one or two pints per week, rather than the 20-30 or so that I could be drinking. Tax avoided annually on 18 weekly pints of beer that I don't drink - £855.

    Many people I go out with also do shots, in addition to those 20 pints. I don't. Could probably see them doing at least 2-3 shots per night, making 7 for Th/Fr/Sa. Each shot being 25ml, you'll get 40 to a 1L bottle. 52 weeks of this is about 10 bottles. Tax avoided on annual 10 bottles of vodka - £70.

    Now for your average person that refuses to smoke or drink, that's a saving of around £7500 annually on actually buying the stuff, but more importantly where the likes of UK Uncut are concerned, it's £4,670 in avoided tax per person.

    Additionally, those savvy people with that extra money will be dumping a lot of that into an ISA, avoiding 20% savings tax.

    Other little bits of tax avoidance that we get involved in - buying goods from VAT free regimes outside Europe, such as USA, Canada and China. Those nice people sending them will often write "Gift" on the package, along with putting the value under the limit for UK Customs VAT declaration (strictly speaking everything should attract VAT, but UK Customs don't have the manpower to check everything, so they set a small limit).

    I'm sure that everyone is queueing up at the VAT office to make the proper declarations on every bit of avoided (and evaded) VAT on every purchase they make from eBay or wherever.

    Now for tax evasion, the illegal bit. Ever had a cash in hand job? Most people have. Often for small amounts per week, as in a paper round, but many people still do odd jobs earning a significant amount, but don't declare every penny. You don't see most people with cash in hand jobs declaring this for PAYE and NI deductions, do you?

    So, adding up all that avoided (and evaded) tax, should we be expecting the likes of UK Uncut to come round and throw bricks through our windows?
    Exactly.

    Everyone avoids taxes, because it's sensible.
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    (Original post by creak)
    I don't drive 500,000 miles every year, therefore I'm a tax avoider because I'm not paying duty and VAT on the petrol I would have bought if I did drive that much. What a stupid argument.
    Not really. It is people arranging their affairs in a perfectly legal manner so that they don't have to pay tax. Same as some complain that companies are doing.

    A major reason why people quit (or just don't use in the first place) cigarettes - apart from it being unhealthy and just plain disgusting - is that it costs so much to smoke.

    Therefore, they are avoiding buying (and also paying tax on) them. Why do you think smokers (and non smokers to give/sell to their smoking buddies) stock up on them at the duty free and on holiday?

    Your point about driving is also valid. Some people enjoy driving, trips around England, seeing new places. A major reason why people don't is because fuel is so expensive. Hence they are making changes to their lifestyle to avoid paying all that extra tax.

    Or are you saying that if petrol in the UK was 8p a litre as it is in Libya (or even 48p - the actual UK product cost), people still wouldn't drive as much?
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    It’s not tax avoidance because there’s no obligation to pay taxes levied on consumables that aren’t consumed; there was never any duty or expectation, implicit or explicit, to pay tax on the thousands of potential drinks that have gone undrunk or the thousands of miles not driven. Your definition is so broad as to render it utterly meaningless- if you extend the logic, everyone in the country is guilty of an infinite amount of tax avoidance because of all the items they potentially could have bought and paid duty on.
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    (Original post by creak)
    I don't drive 500,000 miles every year, therefore I'm a tax avoider because I'm not paying duty and VAT on the petrol I would have bought if I did drive that much. What a stupid argument.
    If you don't drive 500,000 miles every year because you want to avoid paying the high duty on petrol, then yes - you are avoiding tax. I don't drive at all (although I can) because the high duties on tax make it uneconomical for me to do so. Consequently I travel via other means.
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    No, that's not tax avoidance. You're not actually carrying out an activity that should incur tax- therefore there's no obligation to pay. The reasons for not doing that activity aren't relevant.
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    (Original post by creak)
    It’s not tax avoidance because there’s no obligation to pay taxes levied on consumables that aren’t consumed; there was never any duty or expectation, implicit or explicit, to pay tax on the thousands of potential drinks that have gone undrunk or the thousands of miles not driven. Your definition is so broad as to render it utterly meaningless- if you extend the logic, everyone in the country is guilty of an infinite amount of tax avoidance because of all the items they potentially could have bought and paid duty on.
    And please explain how this is different to companies avoiding tax by behaving in a perfectly legal manner and not 'consuming' products that will have tax levied on them?

    If you're going to go with the "moving money around to avoid tax" line, how is this any different to savers moving their money to a different 'product' i.e. an ISA or paid it into a pension fund, purely to avoid tax?

    Here are Labour's rules on Corporation Tax:

    UK based companies must pay Corporation taxes on all profits earned in the UK and abroad.

    Foreign based companies must pay Corporation taxes on all profits earned in the UK.

    Now see the problem. Fortunately Osborne just changed them to something more rational and business friendly. Perhaps you would care to explain under Labour's rules to whom [for example] my UK based company should pay its taxes to on profits earned [say] in Spain?
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    (Original post by creak)
    No, that's not tax avoidance. You're not actually carrying out an activity that should incur tax- therefore there's no obligation to pay. The reasons for not doing that activity aren't relevant.
    Just as companies are doing. They are not carrying out activities that incur tax either. Whether they are going out of their way to do so or not is irrelevant.

    I actively go out of my way to avoid paying unnecessary taxes. This includes actively not buying cigarettes and drinking excess alcohol, for example. Just as there are many people who go out of their way to avoid driving excess mileage, or go out of their way to buy stuff from abroad because it's cheaper [UK duty free]
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    I've only read the first couple of posts but I think it needs to be said that UK Uncut is the biggest group of tools I've ever come across in my entire life. So much so I can't even be bothered scrutinising there stupidity.
 
 
 
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