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Apple, Amazon, Google accused of avoiding taxes in the UK - Page 2

post #41 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Laws are rules that are set in black and white to define, as close as we can, a common sense of ethics. If a law about wearing a blue shirt on Tuesday was tax deductible for special reasons and a corporation enforced that all employees wore blue shirts every Tuesday for the purposes of tax relief then it's a clear abuse of the law.

Yes the law is partly to blame just as it is partly to blame for allowing a large number of criminals to receive reduced sentences but is our reaction when we read about a child molester receiving a 1-year sentence through a plea-bargain that they just complied with the law and got away with it?

There's nothing we can do about it but we don't applaud them and look forward to whatever abuses tomorrow brings. Laws will always be insufficient to govern people but there is an expectation that people have the decency to comply with them without force.



Yeah, I'm sure all the companies are desperate to pay their taxes but the complexity is holding them back and only allowing them to pay a fraction of it. Presumably this complexity is what drives them to simpler tax codes in places like Luxembourg, Monaco, The Channel Islands etc.

I would put it to you that it is more complex to register a company outside of the country you trade in to receive a reduced tax rate than it is to comply with any given country's tax code.

Sorry, but you're clueless.

If the law says that you get a deduction for wearing a blue shirt on Tuesday, then you get the deduction. It is not fraudulent and is not an abuse of the law.

Since you seem to think that "I want them to pay more taxes" somehow overrides "they are paying the amount required by law", there's no point in arguing you. Continue to stew in your ignorance.
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post #42 of 62
Well, I'm from Belgium, the only country receiving kudos on EU-level for taming it's deficit (whereas UK deficit 2011 is 12% if I recall correctly)

But again, I don't know why that would matter to you as you seem to be fine doing business in a country where even managing fountains seems to be problematic.

Also, before you consider 'the rest of Europe', well we ARE doing MUCH better than your shithole does. Not convinced? Check out the EUR/GBP exchange rate over the last decade. You'd be surprised!
post #43 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

Again, read the analogy between what you've written down and the situation of the kapo and the slave labour in a concentration camp.

Then think about what you've written. Your kind of reasoning actually makes people comfortable with the thought of child labour.

You come through as though you are not capable of processing a sentence written in the English language. While at it, you sound like you're a bit of a drama queen too. Chill.
post #44 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

If the law says that you get a deduction for wearing a blue shirt on Tuesday, then you get the deduction. It is not fraudulent and is not an abuse of the law.

It is an abuse to purposefully misuse legislation against its intent. If Apple, Amazon or Google operate a business in the UK then it's an abuse of the law to base their operations in areas with lower taxation while operating and profiting in areas of higher taxation. Those lower tax rates are not intended for tax evasion but for the businesses which operate in those areas.
post #45 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It is an abuse to purposefully misuse legislation against its intent. If Apple, Amazon or Google operate a business in the UK then it's an abuse of the law to base their operations in areas with lower taxation while operating and profiting in areas of higher taxation. Those lower tax rates are not intended for tax evasion but for the businesses which operate in those areas.

Marvin, you're 100% right about that.

That's why I suggested to add to a law it's intent, how it should be interpreted. The thing is, all these big corporations try to use and abuse every loophole in the law to try and create a tax break or any other advantage such as subsidies.

Such a comment on the law would enable any judge to interpret the law as it was meant to be iso as how it has been bent.
post #46 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

You come through as though you are not capable of processing a sentence written in the English language. While at it, you sound like you're a bit of a drama queen too. Chill.

First, let me reassure you: I'm perfectly capable of processing any sentence written or spoken in English.

I'm not sure why I'd chill on that specific issue.

Are you comfortable with child labour? With slave labour? With 2,5 USD a day pay checks (because it's better than having a 2 USD a day check)?
post #47 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

Are you comfortable with child labour? With slave labour? With 2,5 USD a day pay checks (because it's better than having a 2 USD a day check)?

Do you understand that notion of "willing"?
post #48 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

That's why I suggested to add to a law it's intent, how it should be interpreted.

How naive. If this could be done, it would be. In the meantime, companies are supposed to divine "intent"?

Get serious.
post #49 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It is an abuse to purposefully misuse legislation against its intent. If Apple, Amazon or Google operate a business in the UK then it's an abuse of the law to base their operations in areas with lower taxation while operating and profiting in areas of higher taxation. Those lower tax rates are not intended for tax evasion but for the businesses which operate in those areas.

How is a company supposed to determine a law's intent if it's not written into the law?
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post #50 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

What we lack is a government willing to crack down on tax avoidance by big corporations and wealthy individuals. Frankly I don't care if they all piss off where they came from, they don't contribute much to our country anyway if they're avoiding tax.

How is it Tax avoidance if they are working with EU law? There are a number of companies that operate in exactly the same way by running their European operations out of Ireland, and they have been doing it for years.

How about we try the reverse, a few years back there was a news article that Sky TV in Ireland doesn't pay any taxes in Ireland as their operation there is run from the UK, does the UK authorities have issues with instances like this?
post #51 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

How naive. If this could be done, it would be. In the meantime, companies are supposed to divine "intent"?

Get serious.

I think it's me who should get back to you for not understanding English.

Or isn't it clear when I wrote than that the intent of a law should be written as an extra to the law. It'd definitely cut back the loopholes.

So no, the don't have to divine (I suppose you meant "guess") the intent of a law. They should just read it. It'd probably also help tax rulings and/or judges in making a verdict.
post #52 of 62
I'm not necessarily disappointed with Apple, I just wish they'd pay some more tax. I think the government do need to do more in this sense, because multi-billion dollar/pound companies 'avoiding' tax is just... Wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

You don't have a bloody clue what you are talking about. Michigan is a shithole. You can't compare the UK to a US state. The UK economy is doing better than the US economy thank you. We don't have a trillion dollar debt. We don't have 50 million people without healthcare. It's very easy to do business here, you don't have as much red tape as other parts of Europe. We have no need to be grateful. Companies do business here because they make a lot of money.

Uh...

Yeah we kinda do Not as high as US debt, but still over a trillion pounds.

http://www.debtbombshell.com/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightymike View Post

The UK is smaller than Michigan and its economy sucks. They should be glad that any company does business there. If the UK starts hitting on all these international companies to prop up their failing economy everyone will just relocate. The VAT (sales tax) in the UK is 20% and everything cost 2-3x the price in the states. How can the UK government even hope to survive if they make life impossible for companies to do business there.

You're full of more shit than the Daily Mail.
post #53 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz1 View Post

Well, I'm from Belgium, the only country receiving kudos on EU-level for taming it's deficit (whereas UK deficit 2011 is 12% if I recall correctly)

But again, I don't know why that would matter to you as you seem to be fine doing business in a country where even managing fountains seems to be problematic.

Also, before you consider 'the rest of Europe', well we ARE doing MUCH better than your shithole does. Not convinced? Check out the EUR/GBP exchange rate over the last decade. You'd be surprised!

Glad to see the Eurozone is doing so well. I thought you were all heading for bankruptcy.

As for the exchange rate, the UK has effectively devalued sterling by over 25% in the past few years in order to stimulate our manufacturing base through export led growth. This level of flexibility is why we rejected the Euro.

I've no idea what you are talking about re fountains. Your national monument is a tiny bronze statue of a child pissing in the street. Last time I visited it took me ages to find it then like everyone else I wondered why I'd bothered.

Seems to me that most anti-British Europeans like you are angry because we dont want to play in your little club. I have no anti-Belgium sentiment or hatred towards anyone, although given the opportunity I would happily vote to leave the EU. I think the UK should increasingly look outside the EU for our business opportunities.

Not sure what any of this has to do with the topic at hand.
post #54 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightymike View Post

The UK is smaller than Michigan and its economy sucks. They should be glad that any company does business there. If the UK starts hitting on all these international companies to prop up their failing economy everyone will just relocate.

Failing economy?

UK unemployment rate: 8.3%
US unemployment rate: 8.3%

UK national debt as percentage of GDP: 64
US national debt as percentage of GDP: 100+

Kill the arrogance and look up some facts before you continue to propound your Americentric view of the universe, please. The UK isn't in good shape, but the States is hardly a beacon of financial strength right now either.
post #55 of 62
Giving a bankrupt government more money is like giving drunk more liquor it just makes things worse. The only thing proping the economy up are the few businesses left that make money. When business goes under because failing governments squeeze the life out of them it's the end for all of us. Remember that when your unemployment runs out and you wish Apple and all the other corps weren't forced out of the UK.
post #56 of 62
The UK has not devalued the GBP. It was effectively devalued by the market. Guess why? Because you're doing so well.

Considering the UK wanting to leavethe little club, I think the little club gave the UK a nice F... Y.. late last year when starti g ESFS. Don't try and switch the table... you can't. The UK is well behind in that game. Just like you are if you don't know that your fountains will be closed. Trafalgar square won't be the same in the summer.

And, o yes, our national monument isn't Mannenen Pis but the Atomium, 90m (metric system) tall. You can't miss it.
post #57 of 62
Uk debt including bank relief is 142% of GDP
And let's not forget the massive 11% deficit.

Yes, the UK is failing.
And the City will drop like a ripe fruit in our basket.
post #58 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

How is a company supposed to determine a law's intent if it's not written into the law?

Let me summarise the general defence of Apple here:

- Apple employees aren't smart enough to figure out the tax code in countries with higher taxation but have no problem in countries with lower taxation
- Many other companies and millionaires are doing the same thing so it's ok
- Apple employees aren't smart enough to figure out what the law means (it's too vague)

This is a company that submits 1-million pages of documentation in a lawsuit against Samsung for copying their product design. This is a company that goes out of its way to scrutinise over every detail in every product and can co-ordinate a multi-million unit worldwide shipment in a weekend. This is a company whose previous CEO's last words of advice to the current CEO were:

"Never ask what I would do, just do what's right."

Apple's employees are smart just as the employees of Google and Amazon are. They are very highly paid and there are many employees, it's not just one intern called Doris in accounting out of her depth. Naivety is not a defence for a multi-billion dollar company that has been trading for many years.

I fully accept that the law should be revised to prevent such abuses from taking place but you can't suggest that these actions are not abuses simply because the law isn't sufficient enough to prevent them.

If the vast proportion of your sales have shipping addresses to an area where taxation is far higher than you are paying then you don't have to be a genius to figure out you are abusing the system. How many sales do you think Amazon makes in the Channel Islands vs mainland UK? The goods are shipped from Jersey to avoid paying extra tax, not because it just happens to be a picturesque location for a business.

As to the solution, perhaps the law could apply the tax rate per-sale based on the shipping address rather than the point of sale. This way, no matter if you buy something from America, China, Jersey etc. the company is taxed based on the recipient, not their chosen tax-haven. It would be hard to put into effect worldwide but as long as it was applied to geographically close locations, it would at least be a disincentive to abuse the law.
post #59 of 62
no matter who it is, just tax the fuck out of them!!!

we all pay our taxes, everybody should


P.S.: I'm with Shaun on this one

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post #60 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightymike View Post

Giving a bankrupt government more money is like giving drunk more liquor it just makes things worse. The only thing proping the economy up are the few businesses left that make money. When business goes under because failing governments squeeze the life out of them it's the end for all of us. Remember that when your unemployment runs out and you wish Apple and all the other corps weren't forced out of the UK.

But the government isn't bankrupt. So maybe you should climb back into your hole and go back to watching American Revolution history tapes.
post #61 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

But the government isn't bankrupt. So maybe you should climb back into your hole and go back to watching American Revolution history tapes.

The only hole here is the one in your hollow head! The USA owes 16 TRILLION dollars. The USA spends 2 trillion more than it takes in EACH YEAR and borrows this amount EACH YEAR to stay afloat-that's BANKRUPTCY !

Here's a simple analogy just for you. GM went broke and needed 80 billion from the Feds to stay afloat. The USA is broke and needs 800 billion each year from the Chinese in T-bill sales to stay afloat. That's BANKRUPTCY, just like GM.

The USAs credit rating was downgraded this year and the Chinese won't lend the USA any more money next year.

When that happens your unemployment check will be worth zip! That's BANKRUPTCY !*
post #62 of 62

Stumbled on an interesting article about France now going after some of these same companies for their tax avoidance efforts. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and some others are using the same basic accounting methods in Europe according to the report, but Google is the current public target for French revenue agents. The description of how intricate the tax rate minimizing efforts are is impressive:

 

 

Google’s European HQ is called Google Ireland Holdings. It is the owner of Google Ireland Limited. Google Ireland Limited receives the revenue from European subsidaries. But, in order to lower the tax rate, Google Ireland Limited pays billions of royalties to Google Ireland Holdings. In 2011, it was $4.6 billion. It drastically lowers the profit of Google Ireland Limited.

Despite the name, Google Ireland Holdings’ cost center is in Bermuda and is called Google Bermuda Unlimited. In Bermuda, corporate tax doesn’t even exist. But there is a tax if you want to transfer big sums from Ireland to Bermuda. That’s where the Netherlands are needed.

If you transfer money from Ireland to the Netherlands, then to Bermuda, there is no tax. Google Netherlands Holdings BV, you guessed it, is a subsidiary that has the sole function of transferring money from Ireland to Bermuda.

There is another tax to transfer to the U.S. Currently, Google and other big Internet companies keep the money in Bermuda. $1,400 billion are stuck there according to the Win America Campaign, a lobbying action to remove the tax between Bermuda and the U.S.

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