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In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2013 21:10:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jan 2013 21:20:50 GMT
J A R P says:
David Groom

says that 'only a complete idiot' pays more tax than they have to.

I say that only a freed slave would have this devious mind set.

-
Do not wind me up like this again, Groom.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2013 21:24:27 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 16 Jul 2013 11:41:13 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2013 22:33:54 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jan 2013 22:37:10 GMT
David Groom says:
Jason Powell,

'David Groom says that 'only a complete idiot' pays more tax than they have to.'

I notice that you didn't disagree.

'I say that only a freed slave would have this devious mind set.'

Anybody rooted in the day to day reality of life will say the same about tax, so your point, whatever you think it means, is meaningless. It's the sort of thing I expect Ed Milliband to say in a speech. A grand sounding statement with not a bit of common sense or even practicality behind it to back it up.

'The law is changeable. As everyone knows, British tax regulation is badly messed up.'

Since I said quite clearly in my post that if you want to take more tax off companies than at present you need to change the tax laws, your point with this comment is what exactly? By the way, it's not just UK tax regulation that causes this. It's the global and EU market rules that help to sustain the issue.

'David Groom doesn't want to change it, and approves of it by claiming that you should follow it to your advantage, even when it is obviously wrong, or else be an idiot.'

I only wish to change something, if it brings a benefit, not from some idealogical dead end that doesn't help anybody. In the case of Amazon and others maybe the best way to make the change would be to lower Corporation Tax to make it the lowest in the EU or even the world. Do that and home companies will pay less than they currently do, but all the tax avoiders who declare and pay their taxes in other jurisdictions will suddenly flood to the UK. Simple practical suggestions like this add far more than your airy fairy grand gestures.

'He claims that those who think of the general welfare are 'idiots'.'

I said nothing about welfare as you well know - don't try to make out I said something I didn't. It just makes you look ignorant. Nobody, and that includes everyone on this forum, right down to the lowest paid in society pays more for anything than they have to, so why do you have such a problem with this? Have you gone along to HMRC offering to pay more tax than you have to in order to help the poor. I bet you haven't, so stop being so sanctimonious and accept that you are no better than anybody else.

'He has taken the attitude that somebody else can sort the mess out and that in the meantime he approves of all losses which the state will suffer.'

I expect the government to do it - that's what they get elected to do, and I have no wish to do so, as I don't feel that interested in it, nor do I have skill and knowledge of the system to allow me to do so. My point to Dav45, is that if he feels strongly enough about it, he can research the issue, make some proposals and put them to government. We live in a democracy and he can join in the democratic process by doing so. You never know he might change something if his ideas are sensible enough.

As for the state's losses, I've already made clear (didn't you understand my simple English?) that its for governments to change the tax regime, not companies or individuals to volunteer to pay more than they need to.

'I add here that anyone who seeks legal means of avoiding that scale of responsibility is at present a moral-free zone, and in future will be a criminal.'

Only when the law is changed, something that I gather the coalition is actually bringing to the statute book, though I suspect all the tory bashers on here will quickly dismiss this as a stunt of some kind.

'Companies like Amazon don't bring the benefits to society which you claim. That is the workers. The companies can bring benefit only in their Profits, and their profits are exactly what they are hiding.'

Without the company there are no workers, so your argument is just plain silly. Without the company there are no jobs and without these things there is just a drain on society through benefits. Clearly, any company employing a large number of people brings benefits to the country where the jobs are - its as plain and simple as that. If you don't think so, then I suggest you ask some Amazon workers whether they'd rather work or be on benefits.

'Do not wind me up like this again, Groom.'

You are responsible for winding yourself up. I don't take the slightest bit of notice of arrogant people like you who think they can imperiously tell others what do do.

PS: I notice that you've deleted most of your post. Was that because you realised how foolishly it read.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2013 22:37:37 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jan 2013 22:39:28 GMT
J A R P says:
Kodokushi

As I was saying before Amazon took offence at me calling you a bimbo... That is very gallant. Shame they don't give a monkey's about us bimbos in their accounting.

I complained to my MP about MOD letters demanding return of overpayments while on Telic 10.

Rt Hon Ian Lucas forwarded my letter, and the threatening letters to the Minister for Veterans.

I told them both that they could ram their Govt letters demanding £400. Until such a time as they get a grip on the tax evoiders in the City.

One day I will pay it. But in the meantime they can make a martyr out of me while our tax laws are made up by criminals in bowler hats. Such civil disobedience is required of honest men in these times.

I also continue to buy books, films and music from Amazon. I know that our Democracy is capable of changing its mind and changing the laws when they are corrupt as they are in this case.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2013 22:57:13 GMT
Ian says:
"Amazon carries out a lawful and legitimate form of tax avoidance, as does anybody who buys an ISA."
Both are legal, but that is where the similarity ends. ISAs were designed to encourage you to save some of your money and not pay tax on the interest you make. Amazon is not making use of laws which were designed to reduce its tax obligation, they're using loopholes in the law to transfer profits made on buisness transactions in the UK to a country where the rate of tax is lower.

"All companies bring benefits to the country, regardless of the level of tax; paid." That might be true of manufacturers who export goods (making us wealthier as a nation) but it isn't true of retailers such as Amazon (or Starbucks) who just redistribute wealth we already have. Amazon is choosing to export much of that wealth and so is not only contributing nothing to the wealth of our nation; they are actively making us poorer. Amazon is a parasite on the UK, albeit a friendly parasite supplying us with goods and services we want. But those goods and services could just as well be provided by other companies who are not exporting money from the UK. Worse than that, by avoiding taxes Amazon is able to undercut its competitors who do pay tax, and it will no doubt bankrupt many of them by competing on an unlevel playing field.

Amazon, Starbucks, et al are not doing anything illegal but companies avoiding tax in the UK (preferring to export their profits to a country which charges less corporation tax. However, businesses do not always just do what is legally required of them - most businesses make donations to charity (Apple don't, one of Steve Jobs 1st actions when he returned to Apple was to cancel all of their charity programs). They do this not for immediate financial gain but either to improve their image in the eyes of consumers or just because those running the business have a conscience. It's important to businesses to be liked by their customers and potential customers - people don't want to give their money to a business which they think mistreats its employees, damages the environment, harms animals, etc.

You may choose to give your business to Amazon but many of us choose not to and wish to make sure they know why we choose not to buy from them anymore in the hope that it may make a difference to their behaviour (it has done for other businesses in the past). You may not care whether Amazon and other businesses pay tax on profits made in the UK but don't fool yourself that it isn't harming you - as a result our treasury has less to spend so either you pay more tax, the government cuts more public services or our national deb increases as a result if the lost tax income. The difference from one business may be small but cumulatively it is significant. Yes, it's the job of politicians to improve legislation, but they won't do it without pressure from the public (you can be sure businesses are lobbying them not to change the tax legislation).

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2013 23:01:33 GMT
Ian says:
"maybe the best way to make the change would be to lower Corporation Tax to make it the lowest in the EU or even the world. Do that and home companies will pay less than they currently do, but all the tax avoiders who declare and pay their taxes in other jurisdictions will suddenly flood to the UK."

A race to the bottom will just result in a country in the developing world or a tiny Caribbean nation setting even lower rates of corporation tax. It's a race we cannot hope to win.

Posted on 4 Jan 2013 23:09:25 GMT
J A R P says:
In truth, I suppose I only buy hard to find items from Amazon these days. I go to town to find more common items.

The last two books and the last two DVDs were from real shops.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2013 23:13:44 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jan 2013 23:17:25 GMT
J A R P says:
David Grroom

I deleted my post because, as the saying goes, I did not want to waste my breath on you.

It reads fine to me as you relay back to me. If you rid the world of Amazon the workers and the wealth would still be there; they would organise a new business, and it would definitely have a more positive attitude toward money and people - definitely since zero profit-based tax can only be improved on.

I note with appreciation that a Swiss bank (an ancient tax avoiding tradition) has, in a token of its sorrow and shame, shut itself down today. Thank God for the US and A.

Posted on 5 Jan 2013 06:21:46 GMT
Sou'Wester says:
The key aspect of all this is creating a system whereby such tax avoidance isn't possible. I'm not happy that Amazon (and all the other companies) are able to exploit this situation but I cannot condemn them for doing so. Imagine a tax system where we're all asked, "Actually you don't have to pay any tax but just send Inland Revenue a cheque for whatever you think is a fair amount?" but this, in essence, is what people are suggesting over the Amazon business. The only reason Amazon, Starbucks and one or two others are being highlighted is that they are high-profile companies, but I'm sure there are many others that keep below the radar and will happily continue to exploit these loopholes even if Az does decide to make a donation to HMRC. I imagine most of the people posting here (and the public in general) agree that the situation isn't right, but the solution must rest with the legislators and tax collectors, not individual companies.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 08:29:34 GMT
C. A. Small says:
David - reality check- Amazon will pay their tax consultants huge sums to find the loopholes. HMRC do not have the quality of staff to deal with the real big boys. Occasionally they will hit one company as a warning to others, but by and large the bigger you are the more you get away with. Every year HMRC put new regs in to try to plug a loophole, and every year the tax consultants find a way around it. If you made a corporation tax rate on earnings in the UK of 20%, the big boys would be less likely to try to find ways to avoid it. Also make the fines for evasion especially punitive, and the board personally liable might change things a bit. Also stop the offshore "trusts" etc.

I notice that Switzerlands oldest bank has been fined millions for aiding rich septic's to evade tax by hiding their money for them. How the U.s. banking regulators can do that is impressive.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 09:29:51 GMT
Well I don't lol

Soldiers do, I don't =)

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 10:54:25 GMT
David Groom says:
I.N,

'Amazon is not making use of laws which were designed to reduce its tax obligation, they're using loopholes in the law to transfer profits made on buisness transactions in the UK to a country where the rate of tax is lower.'

No, but it is making use of laws, not loopholes, that allow it to operate this way. Thus it is really no different in principle to ISAs. The laws are there and Amazon use them. We're not talking about clever accounting methods, just plain old EU laws.

'But those goods and services could just as well be provided by other companies who are not exporting money from the UK.'

Yes, but Amazon is what you have, not some ethereal 'other' company and like it or not their presence brings benefits, which is the term I used. Bringing wealth to a nation is an altogether different matter, but again I suggest that it's almost impossible to precisely define what benefits or wealth any business brings to a country. You are simply looking at the single issue of Corporation Tax, whilst ignoring, for instance, the employment of people and the impact this has on local economies etc. And whilst it may be true that some money is not collectable by HMRC, there is a trade off in that the people employed by Amazon would likely be claiming benefits if they weren't. As I say, your statement doesn't factor in all the other aspects of a business's impact on the society in which it is based.

'It's important to businesses to be liked by their customers and potential customers - people don't want to give their money to a business which they think mistreats its employees, damages the environment, harms animals, etc.'

I entirely agree, but I don't know what the public perception of Amazon is, nor do I know anything about their interaction with the rest of the country, so far as charitable donations, sponsorship etc. goes, so I can't make a judgment.

'You may not care whether Amazon and other businesses pay tax on profits made in the UK but don't fool yourself that it isn't harming you - as a result our treasury has less to spend so either you pay more tax, the government cuts more public services or our national deb increases as a result if the lost tax income'

It's not a question of caring or otherwise. As I say that's a matter for the politicians and tax authorities to work out, not me. I'm a disaster man not a tax inspector. I also don't think I need to exert any pressure on those politicians, since they are busy trying to scrape up every penny that they can to reduce spending and lower debt. My take is that if it were a simple matter to increase the tax take from the likes of Amazon it would have been done by now. That it hasn't is a recognition that sometimes it isn't possible to do what you want to. In this case, I'm betting the EU is the problem and that the UK government would have doen something about it long ago, if it were not for the fact that they have to convince 27 other countries to go along with them. Since some of them are beneficiaries of the regime it's easy to see why they won't, isn't it?

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 10:59:00 GMT
David Groom says:
I.N,

'A race to the bottom will just result in a country in the developing world or a tiny Caribbean nation setting even lower rates of corporation tax. It's a race we cannot hope to win.'

This is always the charge, but things never work out that way in practice. Why? Because there are always other factors that determine where a business locates to. Certainly finance is one of those reasons, but many others enter the equation, meaning that a race to the bottom always reaches a level well above zero, where factors start to cancel each other. Take the different example of France and the new president's 75% tax rate on the wealthy. What's the result? Many wealthy French are moving their business and finances to the UK to take account of our lower rates. But why not Luxembourg where Amazon are and rates are even lower? Because there are other factors involved.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 11:00:12 GMT
C. A. Small says:
David- a lot of this is down to loopholes. Sad but true. I believe ( I am in no way an expert) that in America you have to observe the spirit of the law, whereas in the U.K. we rely on case law which is easier to find a way round. This is why the super-rich get off speeding fines etc, because they can afford an especially smart barrister who knows the "letter of the law" and how to get around it.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 11:00:49 GMT
David Groom says:
Jason Powell,

'I deleted my post because, as the saying goes, I did not want to waste my breath on you.'

With a little forethought, you could have avoided wasting your time, by not writing and posting at all. To do so and then remove it, I find quite peculiar.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 11:03:26 GMT
David Groom says:
jason Powell,

'If you rid the world of Amazon the workers and the wealth would still be there; they would organise a new business, and it would definitely have a more positive attitude toward money and people - definitely since zero profit-based tax can only be improved on.'

Are you serious? How many successful major businesses have been established by a group of workers who were made redundant by their company? Very few indeed. Most workers aren't capable of establishing and maintaining a business on the scale of Amazon, certainly not from scratch.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 11:10:37 GMT
Molly Brown says:
Gerard Depardieu and Bridget Bardot so far that I know of? France will pass the 75% law, and it's not 75% taxation, it's 75% taxation above their earnings of 1 million Euro's, how Gerard can't afford to live on that I'll never know. What a patriot. What a p*sshead!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 11:11:03 GMT
David Groom says:
C.A Small,

'David- a lot of this is down to loopholes. Sad but true. I believe ( I am in no way an expert) that in America you have to observe the spirit of the law, whereas in the U.K. we rely on case law which is easier to find a way round.'

I agree that is the case, although as far as I can judge what Amazon are doing isn't really about loopholes, merely the way in which the European Union allows companies to organise their affairs.

However, am I not right in saying that George Osborne is enacting legislation concerning this very point about the spirit of the law? I seem to recall that he intends to allow the HMRC to presume a requirement to pay tax and to determine whether a particular scheme is lawful or not, not based on the letter of what is written, but on the individual schemes on a day to day basis. In other words HMRC look at let's say Celebrity A's tax affairs and decide that the scheme he operates isn't a genuine business arrangment, but is there to allow him to avoid tax. As such they can simply decide that this isn't reasonable, whereas at the moment if the law allows it they can do nothing except plug the loophole at a later date.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 11:16:57 GMT
David Groom says:
Molly Brown,

'France will pass the 75% law, and it's not 75% taxation, it's 75% taxation above their earnings of 1 million Euro's, how Gerard can't afford to live on that I'll never know.'

I said precisely this - a 75% tax rate, which is what you have just defined. Where the threshold is is not the issue.

What somebody can or can't live on isn't the point. Only a fool pays more than they have to, and for some people they will choose to move either physically, or their wealth or their businesses etc. Fact of life. The sort of people who are capable of making a great deal of money in business aren't the sort who will sit back and pay through the nose to a squandering government.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 11:19:27 GMT
Ian says:
" there is a trade off in that the people employed by Amazon would likely be claiming benefits if they weren't."

This is always the argument that businesses give, in the case of retailers it isn't true. Whenever a new supermarket is opened they claim to be creating new jobs in that location. Unfortunately any money spent in that retailer is no longer spent at others. By definition the new amazing supermarket is cheaper because of economies of scale and because they employ fewer people and/or pay lower salaries; so they destroy more jobs than they create. This isn't meant as a criticism - it's just the nature of business - but the justification of job creation is nonsense. Though it may move jobs from one area to another so it would appeal to a local authority when considering a planning application it shouldn't fool a government who should realise that the cost of these new jobs in retail is increased unemployment somewhere else.

"but Amazon is what you have, not some ethereal 'other' company" - Amazon is one of the choices I have. Those ethereal other companies exist both on the high street and the internet, and currently that's where my business is going. Over the last few years I've successfully avoided setting foot in a shop in December (other than to buy food) by buying all presents online. This year none of them came from Amazon, because there are so many other options (John Lewis extending their click & collect service to the Waitrose store 200 yards from my house helped).

Like others I don't have a blanket ban on Amazon, but they have changed from my first choice retailer to my retailer of last resort when I can't find what I want anywhere else. (I admit I did order 2 products from Amazon in December using a trial of Amazon Prime - both arrived several days late so I sourced them elsewhere and returned them at Amazon's expense for a refund.) I also haven't set foot in Starbucks recently and I've changed by browser from Google Chrome to Mozilla Firefox. None of these actions are going to change the world on their own, but if others do the same and we all make a lot of noise about it it gives a clear message to politicians (don't believe that they're desperate to scrap every last penny in tax they can - they've already given away £3billion in tax cuts and will only chase businesses if it'll make them more popular) and businesses.

Posted on 5 Jan 2013 11:30:55 GMT
S.R.J says:
David..............I don't fall into the 'you are talking a load of cr*p' school of thought, but, this is a moral argument, there are many arguments above you seem willing to just ignore, yes we all know the legality of the situation, we are well aware they are acting legally, but what of the morality...thats the issue. If you feel that taking a stance is wrong so be it, I spent a great deal of money on amazon, I do so no longer, and I dont shop at boots, use google or go to Starbucks....because I believe to do so is immoral.
S.R.J

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 11:33:26 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jan 2013 11:34:49 GMT
Molly Brown says:
The vast majority of taxpayers in the UK are indeed fools then. Let's ALL become self employed, pay our taxes in 1-2-3 year arrears, claim for this deduction, that deduction. In the end negotiate with the Tax Inspector to settle your tax settlement so the Government can finally get some money. That's what many non fools do. Many people though, strangely enough, prefer to live in a country they like or even love, and pay for the privilege, than live somewhere just to avoid paying tax. I think it's called patriotism or something of that sort, you know, giving back to the country that made you.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 11:43:00 GMT
C. A. Small says:
David- an informative post- thankyou, not sure why it is being voted down?

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 11:45:11 GMT
C. A. Small says:
SRJ- please advise on what Boots have been up to- I missed it!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jan 2013 11:47:17 GMT
C. A. Small says:
Molly- not sure where you get your ideas on tax for the self employed- we pay half in advance! It balances out, the problem comes if the next years income is less than predicted, so actually pay more tax than would be due, then have to claim it back.
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Discussion in:  politics discussion forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  86
Initial post:  29 Dec 2012
Latest post:  11 Jan 2013

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