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Amazon UK tax bill the lowest in five years despite profit surge

Discussion in 'Access Norton Pub' started by Bernhard, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Bernhard

    Bernhard

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    According to accounts filed at Companies House, Amazon UK Services Limited incurred £4.6 million in UK corporation tax in 2017, £2.8 million less than the 2016 figure of £7.4 million.

    However, after deferring £2.9 million, the online retail giant only paid £1.7 million in tax.

    https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blo...-bill-lowest-five-years-despite-profit-surge/

    they don’t intend to pay 20% Corporation Tax in the UK like everybody else -

    Or maybe they have short memories;

    http://uk.businessinsider.com/amazon-fined-back-taxes-eu-2017-10
     
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  2. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Every large multi national company I worked for over 30 odd years used the same techniques, they used legal tricks/fudges to move the profit to the lowest tax rate country. Blame the tax authorities not the companies, its all allowed in the tax codes, the tax authorities need to up their game when they do their audits and delve into inter-company pricing and royalty payments for use of trademarks etc.
     
  3. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    +1 Kommando.

    If the company is operating within the law, how can you blame them?

    Tax laws are hellishly complex, and, it is legally recognised in the U.K. that it is every persons right to arrange their taxes in a way which benefits them the most.

    So, if the company is within the law, and the government don’t like it, then they should change the law. Period.

    It’s like being prosecuted for having bald tyres when you’re 1mm deeper than the limit and then being told ‘well it might be legal, but it’s morally wrong’. None of us would agree with that!

    Don’t get me wrong, I think this stinks, Amazon should be paying many more times what they are. But we should not blame them. It’s out inept tax authorities that are to blame.
     
  4. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    If nobody paid tax, we would all be rich beyond our wildest dreams ? In Australia we often say 'wealth trickles down' - we base our whole economy on that and the selling of Chinese goods. If you want to migrate to Australia - bring money, otherwise we will lock you up.
     
  5. gortnipper

    gortnipper VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Wealth trickles down? pffft. Milton Freidman's policies are totally corporate subsidized these days, as they were from the onset... and bankroll the tax laws.
     
  6. Bernhard

    Bernhard

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Re "Wealth trickles down?"
    Wealth only trickles down if the recipient decides to allow his/her profit to do so, there are many examples of this and even more examples of pure greed.
     
  7. Bernhard

    Bernhard

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    Apr 20, 2011
  8. acotrel

    acotrel

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    Jun 30, 2012
    A lot comes down to values. One of our Australian values is about collectivism rather than individualism. Many people do not believe in 'society' and reject the need for governments, so paying taxes is anathema to them. However they are not prepared to go and fight their own wars or build major public infrastructure, unless there is a quick dollar in it. Amazon, similarly with many other corporations is purely opportunistic.
    If you remember, Maggie Thatcher thumped a copy of Hayek's 'Constitution of Liberty' down on the table at a Conservatives convention saying 'THIS is what we believe !'. With her, neoliberalism was mainly about crushing the unions and she denied there is such a thing as 'society'. Neoliberalism is simply another religion. Every political ideologue has got a book - it can be Mein Kampf, Das Capital, the Koran. In this case it is Hayek's 'Constitution of Liberty'. It gives free rein for all types of scams.
    In Australia, neoliberal deregulation has created the need for even more regulation as the more opportunistic people start ripping others off. Our energy bills are now sky-high due to privatisations by conservative governments in their chase for balanced budgets. And our housing industry has gone berserk. We have a conservative federal government which for political reasons, cannot take a step backwards. The neoliberal ideology is all-pervasive.
    In any given situation, there must always be a balance between democracy and control. Freedom only goes as far as it is beneficial to the majority.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  9. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Another one of the issues is that many corporate taxes laws don't fully comprehend multi-national corporations. But then again most companies aren't multi-national. But they do get the headlines.
     
  10. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    The thing I don't understand is that as a 'pay as you earn' taxpayer, I never begrudged paying my taxes - even though I payed at a very high marginal tax rate. Corporations are treated as individuals under Australian tax law, however they never seen to act like individuals - no loyalty or patriotism ? They make tax-dodging an art form.
     
  11. acotrel

    acotrel

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    Jun 30, 2012
    In Australia we have the Institute of Public Affairs which is a right-wing think tank. One of their claims is that profit-shifting by multinational corporations for tax avoidance purposes, is justified because their intellectual property is owned offshore. How much intellectual property is involved when Amazon sells Chinese goods and if it is involved, who created it ? Our conservative government is currently trying to get reductions in company tax through parliament. However most tax in Australia is payed by the bottom end of town - people who still have jobs, not the top end.
     
  12. Bernhard

    Bernhard

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    Apr 20, 2011
    It is a little more long winded than that- Thatcher fought Arthur Scargill and the National Miners Union who tried to call out a miners strike for a second time; he had already previously won and defeated the Heath government. Thatcher brought in the union laws because of Scargill NEVER called a national ballot of miners during the Thatcher government strike.
     
  13. Time Warp

    Time Warp .......back to the 70's. VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    I could say plenty on that as a Boilermakers union member Bernhard and levied wages to 'support the cause back in 1984.
    There are plenty of big companies that pay next to no tax here including the national airline who have payed no tax since 2009 but the CEO (a foreigner) I believe will pay himself $60m this coming year and the other 'executives will give themselves a healthy wage increase also, nothing for the staff once again.
    It comes as no surprise many other countries are the same.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-14/why-many-big-companies-dont-pay-corporate-tax/9443840
     
  14. acotrel

    acotrel

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    Jun 30, 2012
    When ISO9000 Quality Management System Certifications were being developed, there was a GATT meeting in Brazil which was about preventing quality issues becoming barriers to trade. Any country which has a highly educated and well-paid workforce, can only ever compete on the basis of quality. So the definition of 'quality' in ISO9000 is intentionally weak. What it means is that the lowest common denominator sets our industrial standards. The rest flows on from that - globalisation enables profit shifting for tax-avoidance purposes. The whole intent is to move the wealth upwards. That is the reason the conservatives love neoliberalism so much.
     
  15. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    My shed is full of Chinese tools. They are adequate for my needs, but if I wanted to set up in business doing manufacturing, there would probably be very frequent replacement. Back when federation happened in Australia, political debate was about free trade and protectionism between Australian states. Globalised free trade means cheaper products - so a lower cost of living for poor people, but protectionism is about jobs. If poor people don't have jobs, how can they buy anything ? In Australia, wealth inequalities have become very substantial. Some people have shares in mining companies and retail outlets which sell Chinese goods. However much of our manufacturing has moved offshore to where there is much less OHS&E and Labour regulation, so there are now much fewer blue-collar jobs. Poor OHS&E are often reflected in the product.
     
  16. acotrel

    acotrel

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    Jun 30, 2012
    What is interesting is that our rubbish tips are now full of old IKEA furniture, and we no longer make much furniture in Australia.
     
  17. Time Warp

    Time Warp .......back to the 70's. VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
  18. acotrel

    acotrel

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    Jun 30, 2012
    We had a Prime Minister a while back, who tried to put every worker on individual contract and called it 'Workchoices'. Due to casualisation of the workforce we now have Workchoices by stealth. What it means is that while companies are making good profits, workers are experiencing almost zero wages growth. In the mean time , because of neoliberal deregulation which led to a form of asset-stripping due to lack of facilities maintenance , our energy bills have gone sky-high. Our Prime Minister was toppled a few days ago when tried to improve our energy situation while catering for renewable energy sources and emissions targets. The world seems to have gone silly with greed..
     
  19. Bernhard

    Bernhard

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    Apr 20, 2011
  20. xbacksideslider

    xbacksideslider VIP MEMBER

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    Aug 19, 2010
    The taxing authorities are neither lazy or inept.
    The politicians SELL loopholes.
    THAT is why the tax code is "complex."
    If it was simple, the graft would be obvious.
    The Everyman on the street would see it; the pols would suffer.

    The onus, ever and always, belongs to the politicians.
    They can say "No" and should.
    They don't say "No," instead they put statute up for auction.
    Notice, the pols never punish themselves for taking money.
    Instead, they wring their hands about "campaign contributions."
     
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