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UK Uncut targets Fortnum and Mason... Watch

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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    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 they genuinely don’t ‘consume products’ (I say that for the sake of the original example, I guess read it as ‘make profits’ in this context) then no, of course they’re not expected to pay tax.

    (Original post by marcusfox)
    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?
    Well, that's avoidance as well really; they’re rearranging their affairs to avoid paying tax. See for example, avoidance inheritance tax by investing in acres of woodland which can be transferred to your children without incurring IHT. An ISA doesn’t really count because it’s not a loophole or an exploit, it’s a financial device explicitly permitted by the govt. to help savers.

    (Original post by marcusfox)
    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?
    UK based companies only pay tax on foreign earned profits if the rate at which they’re being charged abroad is lower than it is in the UK- and then, only the difference between the lower rate and the UK rate is charged. It is (was) perfectly sensible policy and most countries do this- the US even does it for private citizens, as well as corporations.

    (Original post by marcusfox)
    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]
    If a company is carrying out business it is liable to pay corporation tax on its profits. If it uses some device to avoid paying tax- for example by registering itself abroad- then it still has that obligation, it’s just avoiding it on a technicality. It’s legal, but it is still avoidance; a hole that could be closed with appropriate legislation, if the political will existed.

    Again, if you don’t drink/smoke/drive- it doesn’t matter why you’re not doing it, it’s not avoidance. You’ve not had or done something which you’d be expected to pay VAT/duty on. In the same way, if you don’t run a business or don’t make a profit, you’re not expected to pay corporation tax on it. If you do, however, you are expected to pay in line with the intention of relevant legislation passed by Parliament- so if you get out of paying by exploiting a technicality, you are avoiding tax.
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    Everyone uses tax loopholes, even if they're not aware of it.

    Ever brought a cheap DVD or CD from somewhere like Amazon? It's cheap because of a VAT loophole which means if you import goods that cost less than £18 from the Channel Islands you don't pay VAT, hence why Play, Amazon, HMV etc. all have huge wharehouses on the islands.

    Duty Free shopping at airports is of course another tax loophole people take advantage of all the time. Heck, it's even promoted by the airports that you're dodging the tax thanks to loopholes meaning you're technically in on "international land"

    It seems people don't mind avoiding tax when they think they're getting something cheaper
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    (Original post by creak)
    If they genuinely don’t ‘consume products’ (I say that for the sake of the original example, I guess read it as ‘make profits’ in this context) then no, of course they’re not expected to pay tax.
    Taxing a company's profits, showing no regard for their investment requirements or priorities is simply deluded. Sensible governments always take a long term view with company profit and tax, showing patience and only taxing realised profit, in the form of dividends.

    Look, at the end of the day, the only genuine profit, money made by a business is what gets paid to shareholders (individuals) and they pay tax already.

    All other company taxes are levied on illusionary profits that for the most part, don't exist. Governments get away with Corporation taxes because companies can't vote and because 'something for nothing' selfish electorates are always in favour of the usual suspects (wicked big business/filthy stinking rich/fill in as applicable) paying their way.

    Once a company finds a way of avoiding taxes, the rest have to follow to remain competetive, and, more to the point, once they have avoided those taxes, the chances are, thanks to those same competetive markets, those companies have passed the savings on to the rest of us and therefore are not in a position to ever start paying those taxes again.

    This does mean that some companies - particularly small, non global ones are at a disadvantage, which is even more reason why corporation taxes shouldn't exist in the first place.

    But there is an even bigger reason why companies move abroad to avoid these taxes in the first place. They simply can't afford to expose their highly sophisticated businesses to the doctrinal whims of interfereing politicians who arrive in politics direct from the student union bar, utterly clueless about how things work in the real world of business.

    Businesses like avionics, retail or even chocolate manufacture.

    (Original post by creak)
    Well, that's avoidance as well really; they’re rearranging their affairs to avoid paying tax. See for example, avoidance inheritance tax by investing in acres of woodland which can be transferred to your children without incurring IHT. An ISA doesn’t really count because it’s not a loophole or an exploit, it’s a financial device explicitly permitted by the govt. to help savers.
    In the same way that companies are permitted to use financial devices to manage their tax affairs. Don't forget, anything in law not prohibited is permitted, explicitly or otherwise. Companies are under a legal obligation to their shareholders to do this.

    (Original post by creak)
    UK based companies only pay tax on foreign earned profits if the rate at which they’re being charged abroad is lower than it is in the UK- and then, only the difference between the lower rate and the UK rate is charged. It is (was) perfectly sensible policy and most countries do this- the US even does it for private citizens, as well as corporations.
    If individuals or companies make their money abroad, do you not believe that they might have a moral obligation to pay their taxes to those countries?

    I'm sure those countries see it that way as indeed does the UK, which has always laid claim to profits earned here by foreign companies.

    (Original post by creak)
    If a company is carrying out business it is liable to pay corporation tax on its profits. If it uses some device to avoid paying tax- for example by registering itself abroad- then it still has that obligation, it’s just avoiding it on a technicality. It’s legal, but it is still avoidance; a hole that could be closed with appropriate legislation, if the political will existed.
    Do you know how corporation tax works? Actually called Advanced Corporation Tax in recognition that it's a mechanism by which theiving socialists get their hands on company profits before such time as they are paid out as shareholder dividend, when they promptly get taxed all over again.

    However, in recognition of this double taxation, a rebate is payable against the tax paid on the share dividend. So any company that avoids corporation tax actually in the long term, costs the government nothing.

    Well, that would be true except that, and wouldn't you just know it, but it all comes back to a certain Scottish politician, whose idea it was to take the rebate away for any share owned by a pension fund, so we could all have a few thousand more diversity coordinators.

    So who occupies the moral high ground? Companies avoiding this double taxation to protect future pension funds or Labour plundering the savings of future generations of old people?

    (Original post by creak)
    Again, if you don’t drink/smoke/drive- it doesn’t matter why you’re not doing it, it’s not avoidance. You’ve not had or done something which you’d be expected to pay VAT/duty on. In the same way, if you don’t run a business or don’t make a profit, you’re not expected to pay corporation tax on it. If you do, however, you are expected to pay in line with the intention of relevant legislation passed by Parliament- so if you get out of paying by exploiting a technicality, you are avoiding tax.
    The law is run on technicalities. If you deliberately manage your affairs to make use of the law or any other legally permitted means to minimise your tax bill, then that is tax avoidance. Nevertheless it is perfectly legal.
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    (Original post by creak)
    Well, that's avoidance as well really; they’re rearranging their affairs to avoid paying tax. See for example, avoidance inheritance tax by investing in acres of woodland which can be transferred to your children without incurring IHT. An ISA doesn’t really count because it’s not a loophole or an exploit, it’s a financial device explicitly permitted by the govt. to help savers.
    How do you feel about companies who bring losses forward to the next financial year so they don't pay tax in a year in which they make profit?
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    (Original post by CyclopsRock)
    How do you feel about companies who bring losses forward to the next financial year so they don't pay tax in a year in which they make profit?
    If companies were ever forced to pay tax on a year on year basis, most of the business sector would go under.

    If a bank finances the building of a new fleet of trains, this can take between two and four years before they are ready for service, only then will the money start coming in from the lease.

    So recognition has to be provided within the tax system for the two or three lean years of pure capital cost before the big payday falls due all in one tax year.

    Very few companies have the nice regular incomes to suit the year by month by week taxation mentality of socialist governments, the public sector and the likes of UK Uncut - it's called the real world.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    snip
    I’m sorry, but for most of this post you’re just having a conversation with yourself- none of it is actually relevant to what we were discussing before. At least in the end we got to this:

    (Original post by marcusfox)
    The law is run on technicalities. If you deliberately manage your affairs to make use of the law or any other legally permitted means to minimise your tax bill, then that is tax avoidance. Nevertheless it is perfectly legal.
    Which is basically what I was arguing all along. So at least we’ve reached agreement on what tax avoidance is now?


    (Original post by CyclopsRock)
    How do you feel about companies who bring losses forward to the next financial year so they don't pay tax in a year in which they make profit?
    Sounds pretty dodgy, is it legal?
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    (Original post by creak)
    I’m sorry, but for most of this post you’re just having a conversation with yourself- none of it is actually relevant to what we were discussing before. At least in the end we got to this:
    I don't see how. Long, yes, but apt all the same. Nevertheless, if you don't wish to debate the points, I'm fine with that.

    (Original post by creak)
    Which is basically what I was arguing all along. So at least we’ve reached agreement on what tax avoidance is now?
    Don't think so, you seem to be under the impression that there is something wrong with tax avoidance when company accountants do it on behalf of a company, but when individuals do it there's no problem??
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    (Original post by CyclopsRock)
    How do you feel about companies who bring losses forward to the next financial year so they don't pay tax in a year in which they make profit?
    (Original post by creak)
    Sounds pretty dodgy, is it legal?
    For your benefit, again...

    If companies were ever forced to pay tax on a year on year basis, most of the business sector would go under.

    If a bank finances the building of a new fleet of trains, this can take between two and four years before they are ready for service, only then will the money start coming in from the lease.

    So recognition has to be provided within the tax system for the two or three lean years of pure capital cost before the big payday falls due all in one tax year.

    Very few companies have the nice regular incomes to suit the year by month by week taxation mentality of socialist governments, the public sector and the likes of UK Uncut - it's called the real world.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    If companies were ever forced to pay tax on a year on year basis, most of the business sector would go under.

    If a bank finances the building of a new fleet of trains, this can take between two and four years before they are ready for service, only then will the money start coming in from the lease.

    So recognition has to be provided within the tax system for the two or three lean years of pure capital cost before the big payday falls due all in one tax year.

    Very few companies have the nice regular incomes to suit the year by month by week taxation mentality of socialist governments, the public sector and the likes of UK Uncut - it's called the real world.
    Don't worry mate, you're preaching to the choir (I was leader of the TSR Libertarian party for 2 years!)

    Indeed, it's necessary. Taxing per year is arbitrary really. If a company makes a small profit, then a big loss, then a small loss three years in a row, they might make a loss overall yet still pay a bunch of tax. That doesn't seem fair, that the government take money from companies when they aren't even making profit.

    So yes, of course it's legal. As it should be.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    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...
    Who are supposed to be the 'anarchists' sorry? And you can maintain an anarchist ideology and be for tax increases while remaining intellectually consistent.

    But i agree ill directed civil disobedience lessens the efficacy of the tax evasion directed occupations.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
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    Hello, you have opened my eyes to a new point of view as I have very little business/economical knowledge admittedly.

    I would like to ask you what is your view on Philip Green's tax avoidance? Do you think he should be paying dividends tax as his business is based in the UK and as you said the true profit the business makes is what is payed in dividends to his wife?
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    (Original post by mandingo666)
    Hello, you have opened my eyes to a new point of view as I have very little business/economical knowledge admittedly.

    I would like to ask you what is your view on Philip Green's tax avoidance? Do you think he should be paying dividends tax as his business is based in the UK and as you said the true profit the business makes is what is payed in dividends to his wife?
    Most people have a problem with Philip Green because they are jealous. The politics of envy, pure and simple.

    Philip Green's companies employ many thousands in the UK, so the NI bill alone must run into millions. Not to mention the other contributions to the UK economy through providing employment.

    Then there's the eye watering business rates on all those buildings UK uncut were throwing paint all over, again, must run into millions.

    It was inevitable that the likes of Philip Green and his wife would come under scrutiny. If he wants to pay dividends to his wife, then he can do so. After all, tax is due on those dividends, just like they would be to any other person. And if he wants to live in Monaco, good for him.

    In fact, he'd probably do a better job of running the county's finances than Gordon Brown did.
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    (Original post by marcusfox)
    I don't see how. Long, yes, but apt all the same. Nevertheless, if you don't wish to debate the points, I'm fine with that.
    No, you’re dragging this all over the place, far away from the original point of contention- your earlier definition of tax avoidance, and why the examples you were giving were false. I think your post contains an argument you want to have, but failing to find a better opportunity you’re just trying to shoehorn it in here. I’m not going to sit down and act as your sounding board for a rant about Gordon Brown, pension funds and the so-called ‘real world’.

    (Original post by marcusfox)
    Don't think so, you seem to be under the impression that there is something wrong with tax avoidance when company accountants do it on behalf of a company, but when individuals do it there's no problem??
    See I thought we’d got there before, but with this post it seems you simply haven’t grasped the nuances at all- either that or you’re deliberately misrepresenting my position.

    (Original post by marcusfox)
    For your benefit, again...

    If companies were ever forced to pay tax on a year on year basis, most of the business sector would go under.

    If a bank finances the building of a new fleet of trains, this can take between two and four years before they are ready for service, only then will the money start coming in from the lease.

    So recognition has to be provided within the tax system for the two or three lean years of pure capital cost before the big payday falls due all in one tax year.

    Very few companies have the nice regular incomes to suit the year by month by week taxation mentality of socialist governments, the public sector and the likes of UK Uncut - it's called the real world.
    ‘So yes, of course it's legal’. Question answered then, cheers.
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    (Original post by creak)
    No, you’re dragging this all over the place, far away from the original point of contention- your earlier definition of tax avoidance, and why the examples you were giving were false. I think your post contains an argument you want to have, but failing to find a better opportunity you’re just trying to shoehorn it in here. I’m not going to sit down and act as your sounding board for a rant about Gordon Brown, pension funds and the so-called ‘real world’.
    Well, the whole problem UK Uncut have with the Corporation tax avoidance = a bad thing came about as a result of the perception that the Conservatives in the new government is helping out their big business buddies in an immoral way taxwise, never mind it being perfectly legal to do so, whilst cutting things for everybody else.

    That is related to my original argument that companies don't pay tax, we do, and that it was a stupid idea for Labour to be jacking up Corporation tax to make the country's companies uncompetetive and move to lower tax regimes, whilst the perception of the ignorant unwashed was Labour's high Corporation tax = "taxing the rich" = good, Osborne's lower, more sensible Corporation tax = "allowing the rich to get away with it" = bad.

    (Original post by creak)
    See I thought we’d got there before, but with this post it seems you simply haven’t grasped the nuances at all- either that or you’re deliberately misrepresenting my position.
    Well, that's unfortunate. We'll just have to agree to disagree on what tax avoidance is.

    Do people often find themselves unwilling to take part in such activities as smoking/drinking/driving as much as they would like because it costs so much?

    Do they deliberately go out of their way to avoid doing so because of the price, which includes tax?

    Would they be doing more of these things if they attracted a lower or even zero rate of duty?

    Do they choose alternative lifestyes and activities which cost less instead?

    If the answer is yes to all of the above, then that is indeed tax avoidance. Perhaps not UK Uncut's definition, but it's just what companies do, just replace people with companies and smoking/drinking/driving with whatever it is that attracts the highest levels of tax.

    Example: Selling something. Do companies avoid selling some assets all at once as they would like because it costs so much [due to the capital gain tax levy]?

    Do they deliberately go out of their way to avoid doing so because of the price [tax that they pay]?

    Would they be doing more of these things if they attracted a lower or even zero rate of duty?

    Yes, of course they would. Instead, they might phase the sale of those assets over a period long enough to gain maximum exemption from the capital gains tax rules.

    Tax avoidance, by any accepted definition.

    (Original post by creak)
    ‘So yes, of course it's legal’. Question answered then, cheers.
    Yep. Not a rant about the "so called 'real world'". Just a factual statement.
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    Since UKUNCUT is so determined that businesses should pay all of their taxes then why dont we take some money of their environmental charity that most of them are members of and see how they like it when the shoes on the other foot.
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    Anyone hear that clown from UK Uncut get put in her place on the Jeremy Vine show earlier? About 31 mins in. LOVE IT.
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    (Original post by Butane)
    Anyone hear that clown from UK Uncut get put in her place on the Jeremy Vine show earlier? About 31 mins in. LOVE IT.
    Yes, I commented on this particular idiocy in my original post that started this thread.

    It's exactly as Jeremy Vine tells it.

    Lets face it, they didn't have a clue about F&M's charitable donations - basically they picked a company that epitomises everything that the rich stand for, a quick Google for their tax avoidance figures and in they went.

    Lets face it, if you are on private property causing disruption to the owner and the owners ask you to leave, then you must leave. If you don't, then that's aggravated trespass.
 
 
 
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