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Google and Tax

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:33 pm
by shootist
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?

Re: Google and Tax

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:34 pm
by kvothe
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.

Re: Google and Tax

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:41 pm
by atticus
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.

Re: Google and Tax

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:31 pm
by Millbrook2
I imagine shareholders would wish any company they are invested in to minimise the tax they pay providing the company acts within the law.

Re: Google and Tax

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:12 pm
by Hairyloon
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.

Re: Google and Tax

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:31 pm
by dls
What Google did was the lawful arrangement of its affairs so as to put profit outside the defined areas of taxable income.

Re: Google and Tax

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:56 am
by Hairyloon
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?

Re: Google and Tax

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:00 am
by dls
No, they just asked nicely.

The law is beginning to change, but it is not there yet.

Re: Google and Tax

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:25 pm
by diy
Its a case of first mover disadvantage. Whoever gets tough loses the business.

Re: Google and Tax

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:23 am
by dls
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.