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Google and Tax

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Google and Tax

Postby shootist » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:33 pm

This is all the rage at the moment, but there seems to be some fairly important bits missing out of all the discussion. Is what Google was going illegal? If yes, then prosecute, if no then stop whining and consider changing the law. Or have I missed something?
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Re: Google and Tax

Postby kvothe » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:34 pm

I attended an industry (taxation) conference where the keynote speaker displayed a quote on screen, the gist of which was that politicians have the power to completely remove avoidance from the UK taxation system, and then challenged the audience to guess which MP had uttered the remark.

The answer was Gordon Brown. Whatever anyone's opinions of him as a politician, let there be no doubt he is a very intelligent man.

The point he was making was this, that whilst the statement is no doubt true, it does not serve the best interests of UK PLC.
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Re: Google and Tax

Postby atticus » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:41 pm

Tax could be hugely simplified. However, every country tries to manipulate its tax regime as one of the levers of economic growth. For example, the UK has to offer tax concessions for film makers or, apparently, films won't be made here and top movie talent won't work here.

Apparently the Spanish tax regime is more favourable for footballers, which is why Spurs won't be able to keep Harry Kane when Real Madrid come asking.

In the meantime, we employees on PAYE are sitting ducks for tax.
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Re: Google and Tax

Postby Millbrook2 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:31 pm

I imagine shareholders would wish any company they are invested in to minimise the tax they pay providing the company acts within the law.
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Re: Google and Tax

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:12 pm

Did you see "The Town that took on the Taxman" on BBC2 the other week?
Should be available on catchup.
Check out fairtaxtown.com also.
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Re: Google and Tax

Postby dls » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:31 pm

What Google did was the lawful arrangement of its affairs so as to put profit outside the defined areas of taxable income.
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Re: Google and Tax

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:56 am

dls wrote:What Google did was the lawful arrangement of its affairs so as to put profit outside the defined areas of taxable income.

So it is quite likely the law doesn't require them to pay anything. If that is the case, is there owt that HMRC can do, other than ask nicely?
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Re: Google and Tax

Postby dls » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:00 am

No, they just asked nicely.

The law is beginning to change, but it is not there yet.
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Re: Google and Tax

Postby diy » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:25 pm

Its a case of first mover disadvantage. Whoever gets tough loses the business.
My suggestions are not legal advice
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Re: Google and Tax

Postby dls » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:23 am

It is not what the taxman can do. It is what legislators decide will be taxable.

All these MPs pontificating is a load of small round objects. They just redefine it to tax what they want. They have the power, not HMRC.
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