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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    The government does close loopholes

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/government-clamps-down-on-firms-using-pound1bn-taxhaven-loophole-741002.html

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/money/property_and_mortgages/article3486248.ece

    http://www.labourhome.org/story/2007/9/26/17423/9522


    But the moment one loophole is closed, another dastardly scheme is created elsewhere.

    And don't believe there isn't phenomenal political pressure from the rich and powerful against any such moves. We live in a country in which governments are unfortunately far too receptive to the wishes and opinions of media moguls. One of the biggest tax avoiders in the entire world is Rupert Murdoch, depriving this country alone of hundreds of millions. Combine that with threats from scumbags to leave the country if they are made to pay the tax you and I have to pay (only they are about 50,000 times richer than we will ever be, but never mind- the poor things!) and you have a government afraid making too many waves. It's amazing they sum up the guts to close the odd loophole every few years...

    Of course there's political pressure. There's political pressure from lots of things - including the TUC and Labour backbenchers and the rest of the class hatred brigade.

    Govts however recognise that they need to do economically sensible things, at least most of the time.

    And I don't care if someone is 50,000 times richer than me - I'm not motivated by jealousy. If making him poorer made me richer perhaps, but as you well know the world doesn't work in such a black and white way, making companies poorer has a knock on impact on my wages and quality of life and not in a good way.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Of course there's political pressure. There's political pressure from lots of things - including the TUC and Labour backbenchers and the rest of the class hatred brigade.

    Govts however recognise that they need to do economically sensible things, at least most of the time.

    And I don't care if someone is 50,000 times richer than me - I'm not motivated by jealousy. If making him poorer made me richer perhaps, but as you well know the world doesn't work in such a black and white way, making companies poorer has a knock on impact on my wages and quality of life and not in a good way.
    Ensuring everyone pays fair tax is not anyone poorer. Least of all companies that make billions of Pounds in profit.

    If you really believe that the likes of Tesco would be negatively affected in any way from having to pay the tax they should from the billions of Pounds in profit they make every year, then I fear you know a lot less about economics than I thought.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Ensuring everyone pays fair tax is not anyone poorer. Least of all companies that make billions of Pounds in profit.

    If you really believe that the likes of Tesco would be negatively affected in any way from having to pay the tax they should from the billions of Pounds in profit they make every year, then I fear you know a lot less about economics than I thought.

    Except they shouldn't pay it should they? A lot of the profit Tesco's gets is profit made in places like China which it has already been taxed on, just not by the UK Government, let's hope they don't decide to invest more of their profits in places where they're taxed less.

    I'm with the CBI,

    “Businesses paid £130 billion in tax last year and have seen this bill rise sharply since 2003 to help pay for public services. Legitimate tax planning - undertaken by companies that operate globally - should not be confused with so-called tax avoidance.”
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Except they shouldn't pay it should they? A lot of the profit Tesco's gets is profit made in places like China which it has already been taxed on, just not by the UK Government, let's hope they don't decide to invest more of their profits in places where they're taxed less.

    I'm with the CBI,

    “Businesses paid £130 billion in tax last year and have seen this bill rise sharply since 2003 to help pay for public services. Legitimate tax planning - undertaken by companies that operate globally - should not be confused with so-called tax avoidance.”
    Only in many cases- such as Tesco or News International- it is precisely that.

    I've never advocated targeting those who have legimitate business deals abroad and which revenue is not subject to UK tax. But thousands of individuals and companies who should be paying UK tax are paying but a small fraction of it- that is tax avoidance, plain and simple, and it is wrong and should be stamped out.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Actually I'd personally prefer cutting Corporation and income Tax and reducing some of the 'loopholes', but I guess that may be politically unacceptable
    Taxes should be lower all the way round. If taxes are low, there is far less incentive for people and corporations to try to avoid paying it in the first place. I refer you all to the concept of the Laffer Curve. If you increase taxes beyond certain levels, revenues will actually start to fall.

    The Labour government of the 1970s found out this for themselves. When they increased taxes on those who earnt more than £60k a year to 98p in the pound, (I'm not making this up, seriously) and pushed up corporation tax to ridiculously high levels, it had a disatrous effect. People had no incentive to go and work as all their money was being taken by the Government, so unemployment started to rocket. The benefits bill increased to levels that were so high the country virtually went bankrupt - hence why Britain had to go cap in hand to the IMF. Corporations, in the meantime, used every single trick in the book to pay as little tax as possible. Historical documents actually show lawyers who specialised in tax avoidance describing the 1970s as some kind of miracle sent down by the gods. It was a brilliant time for them.

    And they're going to do extremely well in the next few years. ZaNu Labour have already increased taxes to stupidly high levels, (remember Labour telling us how they wouldn't increase income tax and national insurance? They were also naked lies.) and they're going to increase even further if they get back into power for a fourth term. Not that the Tories would be much better, of course. As long as the UK continues pursuing a high taxation policy, tax evasion will only get worse.
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Only in many cases- such as Tesco or News International [and Guardian Media Group, please remember it's not just right-wing news organisations which avoid paying taxes, Aladdin] - it is precisely that... Thousands of individuals and companies who should be paying UK tax are paying but a small fraction of it- that is tax avoidance, plain and simple.
    When I read this, I immediately thought about a chief executive of a private equity company saying that many City executives paid less tax than their cleaners. I wish I was making this up, but it's true. Tax avoidance is wrong and shameful - yet also completely understandable. My view is that taxation is a necessary evil, and it should be kept as low as possible. Keep it low, and there won't be any point to trying to evade taxes, as the costs of trying to avoid it will eradicate any saving in the first place...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Combine that with threats from scumbags to leave the country if they are made to pay the tax you and I have to pay

    I assume you refer to income tax and not corporation tax (such as Aladdin as a corporation sole ).

    In which case you do not have to pay income tax. There is currently an allowance given to you as an individual. Provided you keep your income below that threshold you do not have to pay income tax.

    Perhaps you think that "legal loophole" is morally repugnant ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    Tax avoidance is wrong and shameful - yet also completely understandable. My view is that taxation is a necessary evil, and it should be kept as low as possible. Keep it low, and there won't be any point to trying to evade taxes, as the costs of trying to avoid it will eradicate any saving in the first place...


    You seem to be confusing the terms avoidance and evasion there.

    The former is deemed legal and the latter illegal.

    If I wish to avoid the TV licensing tax, I get rid of the TV.

    If I wish to evade the TV licensing tax, I do not answer the door, close the curtains, throw the demands in the bin etc.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You seem to be confusing the terms avoidance and evasion there.

    The former is deemed legal and the latter illegal.

    If I wish to avoid the TV licensing tax, I get rid of the TV.

    If I wish to evade the TV licensing tax, I do not answer the door, close the curtains, throw the demands in the bin etc.
    The former is only deemed legal on a technicality, through the exploitation of loopholes.

    But whether it is legal or not is a moot point when discussing right and wrong. Because it is deeply wrong, and it would still be if it was as legal as something can get.

    Unless you are the kind of person who lets the Law decide for them what is right and what is wrong- which I doubt you are.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    The former is only deemed legal on a technicality, through the exploitation of loopholes.

    But whether it is legal or not is a moot point when discussing right and wrong. Because it is deeply wrong, and it would still be if it was as legal as something can get.

    Unless you are the kind of person who lets the Law decide for them what is right and what is wrong- which I doubt you are.

    Far far from it. I consider taxation immoral and the worship of politicians (the lawmakers) likewise, but I contend that allowing the Law (every last word) to direct one's actions helps enormously in avoiding and evading trouble, however nauseous that makes one feel morally.

    What standards do you use to decide what is right and wrong ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mostly a mixture of altruism, charity and tolerance.

    Being greedy and selfish can never be right when it is in detriment of others- which is in most cases when you come to think of it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As a former (and convicted) benefits cheat I can tell you the government can help themselves a LOT by having better communication within their own departments. You're going to get caught in the end but it is frighteningly easy to run rings around them. That's how I managed to get away with it.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying "well if they make it easy then they deserve it". I have no-one to blame but myself and my own greed. But the government are doing themselves no favours by having such poor internal communications.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As a former (and convicted) benefits cheat I can tell you the government can help themselves a LOT by having better communication within their own departments.
    Too bloody right. The poor levels of communication within government departments are apparent the moment you attempt to make a claim for any kind of benefit. As a result, you end up having to fill in different forms which require the same details around three or four times, which is a waste of everyone's time.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    Too bloody right. The poor levels of communication within government departments are apparent the moment you attempt to make a claim for any kind of benefit. As a result, you end up having to fill in different forms which require the same details around three or four times, which is a waste of everyone's time.

    yet your against these government departments being able to share details freely amongst each other in respects of a centralised database and ID cards?

    Who is the hipocrite now?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MrG wrote: »
    yet your against these government departments being able to share details freely amongst each other in respects of a centralised database and ID cards?
    Is there no beginning to your intelligence? You know perfectly well that I think governments should hold as little information as possible about people. When you apply for benefits, it should be enough to fill in one form, send the details to the relevant authorities and then to delete this information once the claim has finished.

    But let's not allow facts to get in the way of another rant against me, eh?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    Is there no beginning to your intelligence? You know perfectly well that I think governments should hold as little information as possible about people. When you apply for benefits, it should be enough to fill in one form, send the details to the relevant authorities and then to delete this information once the claim has finished.

    But let's not allow facts to get in the way of another rant against me, eh?

    SG have you led a completely sheltered life? Do you understand that sometimes things are not clear cut and seperated, and quite easily can be interlinked without you realising it.

    Governments should hold as little information as possible, yet you were a few minutes ago advocating been able to allow various government departments to share data amongst each other. If they also then delete that data once it has been used, how do they know to keep on paying said benefits. Would you then have to fill out more forms to several more departments.

    Choose one of the other SG, im not accusing you of lying, just getting your wires crossed. Should government departments hold as little info as possible, or as you have said a short while ago, should they be able to share the info to save on your filling in millions of forms?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    Too bloody right. The poor levels of communication within government departments are apparent the moment you attempt to make a claim for any kind of benefit.

    Try dealing with HMRC on a regular basis, which I have to do for work, they cant even get the basic of facts right sometimes.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MrG wrote: »
    Governments should hold as little information as possible, yet you were a few minutes ago advocating been able to allow various government departments to share data amongst each other.

    As an outsider to the spat between you two, can I offer something here?

    SG seems to be agreeing with me that the information required for a benefit claim should be available to all the government departs who require such on formation, instead of relying on us to chase them up. I don't think anyone is saying the government out to have carte blanch access to our information.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    SG seems to be agreeing with me that the information required for a benefit claim should be available to all the government departs who require such on formation,.


    Which would require some form of inter government departmental access thingy, which even in its simplest form, just about fufills the outrage requirement for those against ID cards.

    Could you trust the govt to have a scheme in place and not abuse it by stealth?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    SG seems to be agreeing with me that the information required for a benefit claim should be available to all the government departs who require such on formation, instead of relying on us to chase them up. I don't think anyone is saying the government out to have carte blanch access to our information.
    See, this one gets it. Why doesn't Mr G?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MrG wrote: »
    Which would require some form of inter government departmental access thingy, which even in its simplest form, just about fufills the outrage requirement for those against ID cards.

    Could you trust the govt to have a scheme in place and not abuse it by stealth?

    First of all that's pretty much off topic but until the mods say otherwise, I'll take this.

    The difference is the information on a national ID card would be compulsory for all. But the info when you get benefits is, well, only for those on benefits.

    Secondly I'm not saying the information should be open across the board, I'm suggesting it should be open only to the departments who need it, such as the benefits agency and the local council if you're getting housing and council tax benefit etc.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The thread has pretty much run it's orginal course, so a tangent like this doesn't seem too much of a problem. However I'd remind people that no matter what they think of a particular poster this is a board to debate ideas and discussions and shouldn't be used simply to nit-pick at other users or continue long standing disagreements.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The difference is the information on a national ID card would be compulsory for all. But the info when you get benefits is, well, only for those on benefits.


    Precisely. Choosing to contract with someone causes a loss of privacy, in varying degrees.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    See, the only thing that annoys me about this is that I know that at least half of those calls are groundless and out of spite (as in one person doesn't like their neighbour so they call the council on them and say they recon they have their other half living with them, whether they do or not).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What pee me off tax credits system even when they have al the right details +correct wage +it stays the same stil manage overpay you it joke +you have pay it back put you in debt stupid
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Einna wrote: »
    See, the only thing that annoys me about this is that I know that at least half of those calls are groundless and out of spite (as in one person doesn't like their neighbour so they call the council on them and say they recon they have their other half living with them, whether they do or not).

    Exactly. I know someoen whose wife has had her benefits taken from her because a neighbour saw her out with some people. Are we all meant to stay in all and do nothing?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MrG wrote: »
    yet your against these government departments being able to share details freely amongst each other in respects of a centralised database and ID cards?

    Who is the hipocrite now?

    because you know it won't be used like that, think of the civil servants jobs

    or like the online tax returns where i know of osmeone who has someone elses name down and no matter how much the call and correct it pops up a comeplte strangers name to apparantly unique NI numbers
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