Saturday, May 10, 2014

No moral obligation

There are certain idiots out there who don't understand how taxation works, particularly with regards to the terms tax evasion and tax avoidance. The first is illegal, you have to pay the tax you legally owe, the second is perfectly legal and is pretty much what most successful companies do in structuring their businesses to run as efficiently as possible.
Amazon paid just £4.2million in corporation tax last year despite record UK sales of £4.3billion – meaning it paid a nominal rate of just 0.1 per cent.
Margaret Hodge, Labour chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee branded the figures an ‘outrage’, and called on shoppers to boycott the firm.
She said: ‘Amazon should pay their fair share of tax. I no longer shop at Amazon, people should shop elsewhere.’
Mrs Hodge recalled a boycott of Starbucks two years ago, after it emerged the company paid just £8.6million in corporation tax in 14 years of trading in Britain.
The action prompted the coffee chain to offer to pay the taxman £20million over two years – a move that has not yet been repeated by Amazon.
But Mrs Hodge suggested the firm could be pushed into reviewing its tax bill, saying: ‘What we demonstrated with Starbucks is the power of the consumer voice.’
Amazon are being sensible here and following the rules, they are not really worried about a boycott that the idiot hodge is proposing because unlike Starbucks they don't cater to a small elite of customers. What Hodge is suggesting is that Amazon should hand its cash over and above what it legally owes to the government for the government to spend on what the government wants which is pretty much a byword for waste and inefficiency. Nor will changing the law on taxation work, the way Amazon do it is within EU rules, not UK ones and unless we leave the EU... but few politicians are suggesting that (mores the pity)
To my mind Amazon have a moral obligation (as do the rest of us) to minimise every penny we give to the government, they do not have a moral obligation to give them a penny more than absolutely necessary nor does bitching about it in the MSM make a difference to my mind. Yes they only pay 0.1% tax, I wish I could, but I'm not jealous or greedy, that's simply good business on their part and they are following the rules, rules that the government and the previous government of which Hodge was a part of agreed too.
Hodge should also consider the problem to the workers Amazon does employ in the UK if a boycott begins and Amazon goes under...

6 annotations:

Paul Robson said...

I found this somewhere ....

"A high turnover gives no indication of profit. Corporate tax is levied against profits, not turnover. As a trading company..."

the next word is "Stemcor". Perhaps the f**kwit Hodge should read it.

Sobers said...

What Paul Robson said. This 'Amazon paid hardly any tax on 4bn of sales' meme is lies and deception - the people making well know that taxes are paid on profits, not sales. Amazon is making hardly any profit on all the work it does - for some reason it is keen to build market share rather than build profit.

And you know what, guess who gains from all this work Amazon are doing? You and I and every other person in the UK who has the opportunity to buy cheaper goods, delivered to our doors at the click of a button. The consumer surplus (what the value to the customer of a purchase is called) for Amazon is massive. It matters not they pay no tax - we are all gaining by them being here. Imagine for a moment they upped sticks and left. How many people would be worse off? The elderly and housebound who can buy stuff from home, the amount of time everyone saves by being able to buy their relatives a gift and have it delivered to their door, rather than shlep round a shopping centre looking for the perfect item, and then paying for postage themselves, the poor, who can afford books they couldn't when it was just bookshops, the list goes on and on.

And all this benefit is put at risk by a evil bint with a hidden socialist agenda. One day people like her will be held to account, and it won't be pretty.

Mick Anderson said...

The Directors of any company are under a legal obligation to do their best to maximize profits for the shareholders. Ignoring the legal part of the obligation, that's how it should be.

One of the tools that the UK Government has given them is the opportunity to set up their multi-national company to pay taxes in a different part of Europe. The Directors are simply doing as they are (arguably) obliged by making use of this opportunity.

It's a direct consequence of the UK Government being so keen on pursuing their EU dream. If they don't like it, they can either persuade the EU to change, or leave the EU, or reduce taxes in the UK. The idiots in SW1 wouldn't be complaining if chose to pay their tax here instead of Germany.

Put the boot on the other foot - I live in the South East of England, and a lot of the tax I have to pay is spent in other parts of the UK. Mrs Hodge complaining about taxes being paid outside the UK but inside the EU is as futile as my complaining about paying for other peoples childcare in Newcastle.

Ted Treen said...

Hodge, like the rest of the élite, thinks higher voluntary tax payments are a moral duty - but only for others. Certainly not for herself, Heaven forbid!

Even if she were to cough up anything "voluntarily", it would doubtless find its way on to her expenses...,

Tom Mills said...

Ms Hodges own tax affairs could do with some scrutiny. She has complex trusts set up for her grandchildren to get tax free benefits from her family company. This company also pays very little tax. Kettle & black spring to mind. She obviously knows from experience how it is done.

Download House said...

tax is a key for success if we pay our tax than we feel free to use our money so keep paying taxes and keep your country up in the world