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Amazon - any chance of paying your UK tax ?

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Showing 1-25 of 66 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Nov 2012 18:44:55 GMT
Jez says:
Amazon - bit disappointed to hear on today's news that you avoid paying your UK tax ? - would you like to explain why ?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 19:02:22 GMT
we all pay tax why not amazon uk the only way is to stop buying from them

Posted on 12 Nov 2012 19:07:34 GMT
I agree Amazon this has been known for a while now and you have not responded in any way, very dissapointed and will stop using you!

Posted on 12 Nov 2012 20:54:20 GMT
D Evans says:
Don't be daft you won't stop using them too many good deals and my kindle would be bereft

Posted on 12 Nov 2012 21:22:12 GMT
O E J says:
Morally wrong? Probably yes.

Legally wrong? Apparently not.

They do it because they can. Blame the law-makers.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 23:48:34 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Nov 2012 23:57:39 GMT
Adamo says:
Law is by consent ultimately, it can be gamed, everyone's responsible for behaving responsibly towards environment and society alike, the consumers, the politicians, and especially these corporation extracting money from national economies and contributing as little as possible in return.
They are so rich their lawyers game everything. It's the same with banks. Nation states - lawmakers - have very little power relative to corporate and banking wealth.
Internationally there hardly is any effective trade law anyway as far as big corporations and banks go, so it's not hard for them to game and win.
These days it's just a big looting party where the worlds richest (shareholders) get much richer and everyone else gets their lives value ripped off. The corporations are out of control. The state, representing the just majority, cannot compete...
Big issue big capital problem. Big problem for the notion of democracy if all the power is in the hands of unelected unaccountable boardrooms, too...

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2012 23:58:20 GMT
Miss J. Daly says:
Why are you disappointed in Amazon ? All they are doing is exploiting another loophole that is set by the people you vote into government so be dissapointed in your own government not Amazon, i jumped ship years ago and love shopping on here because they take an extra 20% off at checkout for all that live in Jersey and the other channel islands for that matter :)

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2012 00:25:02 GMT
fussy1954 says:
Thats a very public spirited attitude (not). You and Amazon deserve each other.

Posted on 13 Nov 2012 00:29:06 GMT
Miss J. Daly says:
Thank you and so far it's been a very good relationship, if the UK government is daft enough to let them exploit every loophole then why should they not make the most of it, it's called good business and if you don't want to shop on here then that's your choice, nobody forces you guys to buy anything on here...

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2012 00:55:46 GMT
david hall says:
Well John you are correct but Amazons main aim is to reduce tax to zero, if it can, but on the good guys side the government and inland revenue should bring laws in to prevent Amazon ( along with every other company in the UK ) from achieving it's ends. Sadly the government and inland revenue are seriously lacking in the brains and drive department. So nothing changes, so get used to it, I have.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2012 09:49:11 GMT
I run a business and I don't exploit "loopholes" - there is no need to do it. My main problem is them extracting money from UK taxpayers without gicving anything back in corporation taxes. Its simply immoral. The US Gov is now on to it and is looking at this transfer pricing strategy. Our government is hidebound by EU free trade rules. Its quite simple to sort out - all foreign controlled companies that wish to operate in the UK should have to pay for an operating licence based on all sales to UK citizens and companies. The cost of the licence should be assessed by HMRC based on turnover and profits assessed on the the average global profit margin that that company makes less special allowances for genuine investment in plant, equipment etc. Simples really

Posted on 13 Nov 2012 12:16:41 GMT
J. Martin says:
QUOTE: "Why are you disappointed in Amazon ? All they are doing is exploiting another loophole that is set by the people you vote into government so be dissapointed in your own government not Amazon, i jumped ship years ago and love shopping on here because they take an extra 20% off at checkout for all that live in Jersey and the other channel islands for that matter"

I totally agree!
Problem with this country is people are envious of success whether its a person or company. These companies employ 1000s of people - think about the contribution this has to the economy!

Posted on 13 Nov 2012 12:22:26 GMT
If you have not done so please watch the video on the following link

Please not it is not for the faint hearted

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2012 12:28:42 GMT
fussy1954 says:
J Martin - are you a member of the Tea Party or something?
Whether Amazon and others pay corporation tax or not does not affect the overall numbers employed in the UK. If Amazon was slightly less sucessful at avoiding tax, and actually paid their global average tax rate in the UK; would they pull out of the UK? I think not.
If Amazon therefore was smaller as a result of that then perhaps UK retailers who DO pay tax would be slightly more sucessful, so no job net losses. The best comparison for this type of is effect is Starbucks (US owned and no tax) and Costa Coffee (UK owned and pays lots of tax). Both operate a chain of coffee shops and it cannot be right that one is socially responsible and the other isn't.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2012 12:30:18 GMT
No what we want is a level playing field for all ie includingthose who can not reduce their tax as a result of being MNEs.

Posted on 13 Nov 2012 13:02:05 GMT
J. Martin says:
fussy - In answer to your question, yes, I believe Amazon (and others) would pull out of the UK... at least from a corporate perspective. Look at the amount of companies that base their HQs in other countries (eg Ireland) to avail of more favorable tax laws.
Look at what is happening in the city of London re competition from New York and other financial hubs and the 50% tax on higher earners. This is how of the modern world works... Im not saying I agree 100% - but its a fact of life and will take more that a couple of stuffy old MPs and journos around a table (with ref to above BBC video) grilling a polished executive to change anything!

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2012 13:15:55 GMT
fussy1954 says:
You are living in a dreamland if you think Amazon and the other would pull out - we are too valuable a market for them; the tax avoidence is just the icing on the cake for them. What about all the companies that do pay tax - they haven't pulled out.
John Lewis et al are still here and still competitive but pay proper amounts of corporation tax.
I can't believe people fall for the line that handing over VAT & PAYE is paying tax - its NOT THEIR money, they just collect it on behalf of the govenrment.

Posted on 13 Nov 2012 13:18:19 GMT
Konstantin says:
Lol John Lewis competitive. Seems like we have a big badass earner here. For us "poor" folks John Lewis is anything BUT competitive in prices.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2012 13:24:35 GMT
J. Martin says:
John Lewis certainly are not competitive and I suspect as soon as they fall out of favor with the high street (history shows us its a matter of when not if) they will look to other ways to raise capital... which will see them down the road of the other multi national organisations.
I do wonder who lives in the dreamworld? Companies that show me a healthy ROI get my dollar (or pound)

Posted on 13 Nov 2012 13:27:25 GMT
As I understand it Amazon is acting perfectly legally according to EU single market rules. Margaret Hodge and her cohorts questioning Amazon, Google and Starbucks know this. Why should they pay more than they are required to? MPs certainly don't.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2012 13:48:30 GMT
fussy1954 says:
£8.7 Bn of sales says they are competitve.
They have a price match policy which they honour, so they have to be competitve. They are one of the few retailers to honur the 2nd year g'tee which we are all entitled to unlike Amazon. Don't forget they actually have physical stores as well, so you can't directly compare with an on line retailer.
Oh the big difference is that they actually pay corporation tax (£52M in 2012).

It is disappointing but not surprising that there a lot of people on here who think it is moral to avoid tax, legally or not. No wonder this country is in serious debt.

I wish I was a basass earner.

Posted on 13 Nov 2012 13:51:34 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Nov 2012 16:10:01 GMT
Much wailing and gnashing of teeth going on here about Amazon, their UK tax liability and their attitude towards corporate responsibility to the nation as a whole. Frankly the answer is clear as day - if you don't like how they do business leave the site now and switch your allegiance to a UK based company.

But don't look too deep beneath the Union Jack draped corporate responsibility statements or your conscience may be pricked there as well. The simple fact is that once a company achieves a certain critical mass then it pays them handsomely to employ the best tax accountants and lawyers to try and mitigate any tax bills that they may accrue.

After all it is the main responsibility of the management of any firm is to maximise returns for the shareholders by increasing market share, squeezing suppliers, cutting overheads and shifting activity to low cost economies. Using offshore tax arrangements is just another one of these tactics. And it's not just the giant US corporations like Google, Starbucks and Amazon who have so recently been in the news who are doing it plenty of UK companies are at it as well.

So where does that leave the socially aware shopper? - Well not shopping on-line for international brands that is for sure. If we want to live to our fine sounding principles then we should leave this site and head for the nearest high street and buy our needs from the local independent traders. Unfortunately we don't all have the time, money or inclination to do that so we need to just swallow hard, and say to ourselves `Every one else is doing so it that's all right then' and try to pretend we are not all hypocrites.

Oh and before you get outraged by reading in the papers about Amazon's tax affairs remember that the tax affairs of most of the UK dailies are far from transparent with most of them being owned either by offshore trusts or companies, offshore individuals or non-dom tax exiles.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2012 13:52:17 GMT
fussy1954 says:
I don't think so. John Lewis makes a perfectly good ROI and does not need further capital as it has anet worth of £2000M against borrowings of £726M.
Perhaps it should borrow a stack of money it doesn't need from an off shore company and reduce the profits so it doesn't pay tax.

Posted on 13 Nov 2012 13:53:57 GMT
Konstantin says:
The whole debt crisis came from a completely different set of issues that have nothing to do with tax.
(£52M in 2012) corporate tax on 8.2 Bn earnings. Why do I fail to be impressed and awed.

Posted on 13 Nov 2012 14:19:12 GMT
Tony M says:
I wonder just how many of us would avoid paying our taxes if there was a legal way of doing so.....let he who is without sin....etc......
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Discussion in:  deals discussion forum
Participants:  47
Total posts:  66
Initial post:  12 Nov 2012
Latest post:  4 Dec 2012

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