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Tax Avoidance
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Posts: 362
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #1
03-11-2012 02:22 PM

[Moved from Domino's Pizza - New Planning Application for 120 Stanstead Road -admin]

Of course you are right about the purpose of the meeting, michael. But you did reflect that concern existed about loss of A1 retail.

Of course the Planning Officer is right.

Of course the elected member is right too.

None of these points undermines the legitimacy of the questions posed however, irrespective of any forum in which they are raised.

I also share increasingly valid concerns about formerly "trusted" brands that have recently emerged as being serial "tax avoiders" (not evaders) who use overseas holding companies or "parent" companies to offset their UK tax liabilities.

I have no knowledge of Domino's actions or their history of UK tax payments, but some very high profile outlets have recently had their tax avoidance measures exposed to public scrutiny and have not emerged from this scrutiny in a positive light.

Neither are they all foreign imports - some of our most trusted UK originating brands and companies have adopted these measures to avoid UK tax liabilities.

It is risible that some have even tried to present the PAYE contributions of their employees as part of the company's contribution to their tax payments in the UK whilst avoiding tax payments on huge profits.

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Posts: 362
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #2
04-11-2012 11:51 PM

Another newsworthy item, it is timely as it was reported only today and perhaps really deserves a separate thread.

It seems Apple paid less than 2% tax on all of its huge profits outside the US. It paid $713m (445m) in the last year on non-US pre-tax profits of $36.8bn (yup thats billion), a rate of 1.9%.

Yet another company to be identified as allegedly paying unsustainably low rates of tax, following similar allegations about Starbucks, Facebook and Google in recent weeks, using tax avoidance schemes that are deemed not to be illegal.

Once more spurious arguments such as that all of the companies pay considerable amounts of other taxes in the UK, such as National Insurance, and raise large sums of VAT are espoused by their defenders. It is not reported what portion of these monies are UK based revenues.

VAT is a surcharge on the purchase price of goods and services; the customer pays it, the company collects it and it passed on to the tax authorities.

At no point do the companies "pay" or generate this tax.

Would that a the majority of tax payers in this country could elect to pay that equivalent level of tax within PAYE - or indeed that our hard pressed economy can afford such exportation of huge volumes of revenue to other shores in a seemingly un-accountable fashion.

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Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #3
05-11-2012 02:16 PM

Because the revenue are either too stupid, too lazy or too incompitent to sort sutuations like this out. There is an investigation underway to see if the head of the revenue has been complicite in allowing this.

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Posts: 167
Joined: Apr 2009
Post: #4
05-11-2012 03:30 PM

Id hardly blame the revenue, (although I concede they are ultimately responsible) its entirely the fault of sucessive governments not having the balls to actually change the law to make this stuff illegal. Despite the ridiculous nature of the percentage they pay, what Apple et al are doing is entirely legal.

You can hardly say to a greedy foreign corporate that they have to pay a bit more UK tax than the law allows, so that everyone in another country can be better off. They only care about their share value/profitablity.

If David Cameron etc want to get more revenue, change the appropriate tax laws to get it!

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Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #5
06-11-2012 10:45 AM

Sorry it's from the Daily Mail but you get my drift. If the people that enforce rules are lax then......

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Posts: 362
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #6
06-11-2012 12:33 PM

It is not only our foreign multi-nationals who avoid paying tax in the UK.

My home town formerly was the home of Johnnie Walker whisky - it was a business created and founded in the town in the 19th century and at one time its Red Label was the world's number one brand. The town's name was proudly displayed on every label.

Through several acquisitions (including by the Guinness group - remember them) the ultimate owners became Diageo.

A few years ago Diageo announced that they intended to close down the operation entirely in the town and move it to a new site on the other side of Scotland. At a stroke they eliminated the last major employer in the town and disassociated Johnnie Walker from its roots.

What was less publicised and appeared only in the financial press was that at the same time Diageo transferred profits on making and selling Johnnie Walker substantially to the Netherlands, even though the company's UK operations remained largely unchanged. Corporation tax payments were vastly reduced and Diageo suffered little adverse publicity for this move as the news was hidden behind the plant closure fiasco.

HMRC belatedly decided to investigate the matter.

Apparently they did so vigorously.

It was so vigorous that Diageo not only reduced its overall tax liability to 15% but also that effectively Diageo got a further refund of 75m offset against future taxes as they had thought HMRC would impose a much larger penalty for their actions.

It is unclear how much if any tax Diageo now pays in the UK.

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