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Amazon, Google and Apple Won't Need To Pay Tax, Despite Goverment Threats 327

Posted by timothy
from the rent-done-been-sought dept.
girlmad writes "Despite moves by government to get Google, Amazon and Apple to admit they make sales in the UK and US, and therefore should pay tax on these earnings, this article argues these are empty threats and that any taxes paid will get returned to the tech giants in government grants and subsidies. Tough luck to the small firms out there."
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Amazon, Google and Apple Won't Need To Pay Tax, Despite Goverment Threats

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  • Remind me,,, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MitchDev (2526834) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @09:29AM (#43767509)

    why class warfare is alive and well and why everyone hates the government so fucking much?

  • by GenieGenieGenie (942725) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @09:34AM (#43767525)
    And for those of you who think this is partisan-minded, the "other" guys (hah! what a joke) would have done exactly the same.
  • by jareth-0205 (525594) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @09:42AM (#43767549) Homepage

    And for those of you who think this is partisan-minded, the "other" guys (hah! what a joke) would have done exactly the same.

    So your point is 'we' are to blame because we voted them into office when we had a choice to vote for someone else... who you also admit would have done the same thing...

    Nice logic there.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 19, 2013 @09:48AM (#43767579)

    In Soviet Russia

    Governments manipulate corporations

  • Re:Remind me,,, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @09:53AM (#43767597)

    Not everyone hates the government. The executives of big companies are actually so fond of them that they even take their government chums out to expensive restaurants and parties on their private yachts.

    It's just the poor people who hate the government, because they're all nasty and poor and horrible.

    And the middle classes, whose tax money is going on unpopular schemes like wars and helping poor people.

    Oh, and the professionals/entrepreneurs, because after years of hard work, sacrifice and risk-taking that will stop many in their tracks, those who do succeed are then considered "rich" and taxed sharply, while the people who are actually rich have enough mobility to avoid those same high taxes, which is why the very high tax rates don't actually raise much money for the government anyway.

  • Ya don't say... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @10:01AM (#43767635)

    Megacorps hiring legions of lawyers, accountants and lobbyists to limit/eliminate their tax liabilities. And politicians sucking up to the money bags whilst feigning outrage for the little guy. I'm shocked....just shocked, I say.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 19, 2013 @10:03AM (#43767651)

    Apple and Google enjoy the general public services just like the rest of us. This includes public roads, utilities, postal services. They exist and thrive in a society that is only possible through the strength of an organized nation-state such as the United States of America or Great Britain. This doesn't include any of the subsidies that I'm sure they manage to get or the fact that as a couple of the largest companies in existence, they have the ability to successfully lobby lawmakers.

    While most could agree that tax revenue could probably be better spent these days, the fundamental concept of taxes is not stealing. Taxes are the price of civilization.

  • Re:Remind me,,, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ebno-10db (1459097) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @10:06AM (#43767679)

    Remind me why class warfare is alive and well and why everyone hates the government so fucking much?

    Because a key tactic in class warfare is the 0.01% getting the government to do their bidding.

  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@@@gmail...com> on Sunday May 19, 2013 @10:13AM (#43767717)

    I've been following this whole shitfest in the UK quite closely for the past few months, and one amusing thing has consistently struck me - the government are trying to be the goody-goody party in all of this, claiming that the companies involved are being evil and ethically corrupt when it comes to "fair share" taxation, while at the very same time flat out refusing to acknowledge that those companies are not doing anything illegal under the current tax regime.

    The government also has ruled out changing the tax law to prevent the current behaviours,because then they lose the trivially easy PR they get from "taking the companies to task" infront of Parliament and the media.

    It's time to admit that the current tax law doesn't work once you are above PAYE (that's the government standard taxation for employees - normal people in the UK do not have to do any filings because it's all done by the HMRC for them and tax is taken out of their pay checks each month).

    Setting up a company in the UK costs about $40. Doing annual returns for that company costs about $350. By working for that company for no wage, and taking out directors dividends, you save serious amounts of money through not having to pay income tax as the Corporate tax rates are significantly smaller than the income tax rates. This scheme is so heavily and widely used, even MPs in all parties got shamed earlier this year when they were named using it - but it's still completely legal.

    No one should be expected to voluntarily pay more tax than they legally are required to, and no one should be shamed for not paying more tax than they are legally required to - if you want someone to pay more tax than they are legally required to, then legally require them to pay more tax! Don't beat around the bush, change the fucking law.

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @10:15AM (#43767721)

    Good for Apple and Google. The government didn't earn the money they want to take. The people at Apple and Google worked hard to earn that money, why should it be stolen from them to pay for giveaways to non-workers?

    For example, the government pays for police that will arrest people going to an Apple Store with guns and taking whatever they want.

  • Re:Naturally (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tmosley (996283) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @10:17AM (#43767727)
    Merger of government and corporate power. They are creating a tax that will hurt small and medium businesses, while their burden is cancelled out by grants and subsidies. This is a clear move to use the sword of government to cut down the competition. This is the DEFINITION of fascism.
  • by stenvar (2789879) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @10:27AM (#43767765)

    Apple and Google enjoy the general public services just like the rest of us. This includes public roads, utilities, postal services.

    They pay for those directly through property taxes, and indirectly through payroll taxes, proportional to what they use. Corporate income tax is not used for any of that. And they mostly use private shipping companies for their products.

    Taxes are the price of civilization

    Just because some taxes are reasonable and necessary doesn't mean that any/all of them are.

  • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @10:34AM (#43767791)

    Google, Apple and Amazon are not doing anything wrong.

    Well, they're not doing anything illegal. And that's the crime, that the government can be bought (and cheaply). I can't speak in much detail for the UK, but in the US the Supreme Court has taken "money is speech" (true only in a limited way and in limited circumstances) to absurd extremes. The logical conclusion is that me handing a politician a briefcase stuffed with unmarked non-sequential $100 bills is protected free speech.

  • Re:Remind me,,, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 19, 2013 @10:58AM (#43767891)

    Oh, and the professionals/entrepreneurs, because after years of hard work, sacrifice and risk-taking that will stop many in their tracks, those who do succeed are then considered "rich" and taxed sharply, ...

    I really don't put Mark Zuckerberg and all the other "professionals/entrepreneurs" in that category.

    And everyone works hard, takes risks and sacrifices. Everyone. It's just a question of what to sacrifice.

    I have a relative - one of those "professionals/entrepreneurs" - as he puts it, "I worked 30 years and had a few lucky breaks to achieve my 'fame' (that's the way he put it)"

    He's also on his third wife and a few screwed up kids.

    Unfortunately, for every "success" story, the people don't realize that there are thousands of others who did exactly the same thing but failed; sometimes to ruinous consequences. And yet folks point to the few successes and say "look! anyone can do it if you just had the gumption!' Like everyone who's failed wasn't worthy; and everyone who's succeeded did so because they were worthy of said success.

    Are you going to tell me that someone who just happened to be at the right place at the right time is a success because of his hard work?

    That's an insult to those out there who are truly working their asses off and taking risks.

    And the "professionals" you mention. You mean doctors? They take no risks. If you are lucky enough to have been born with the talents to do well (No matter how hard I worked, I couldn't pass Organic Chem.) in that field, you are pretty much guaranteed a nice lifestyle. It's no coincidence that MDs are always on top of the lists of highest paid professions. It has nothing to do with brains because if that were the case, then Physicists would be on the top.

  • Re:Remind me,,, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Capt. Skinny (969540) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @11:46AM (#43768085)
    It would be nice to see the IRS threatened mafia-style for gouging the rich just "because they can afford it." I'm sure the poorest of the poor would consider the middle class as being able to afford a near-40% marginal tax rate on their earnings, because relative to them, the middle class is "rich." But the middle class would beg to differ, and would argue that millionaires should pay huge tax bills. They fail to recognize the hypocrisy in taking that position.
  • Re:Remind me,,, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @12:17PM (#43768207)

    Ah, the logical disfunctionality of the anarcho-capitalist. Multi-national corporations play off different countries governments against each other so they end up paying little tax. And somehow that's the government's doing wrong, rather than the the multi-national corporations.

  • by Kohath (38547) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @01:57PM (#43768715)

    Taxes are not theft. Taxing person A to pay for government giveaways to person B is theft.

  • Re:Remind me,,, (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dryeo (100693) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @02:28PM (#43768881)

    Personal taxes do not make economic sense because they don't pay the taxes, the corporations do. The corporations have to pay higher salaries so people have the same take home pay so corporations have to charge more.

  • Re:Remind me,,, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @02:30PM (#43768885) Journal
    Wow, I'd like a 35% tax rate; ours in NL starts at around that percentage, and goes up to 52%... with that upper bracket kicking in real fast at around €55.000 taxable income. Then there's 21% VAT, municipal taxes (increasing faster than our significant yearly inflation), road tax and the tax on petrol (2/3rds of the price at the pump is tax), the list goes on... Kind of sucks though that here the same thing applies to businesses as well: the large ones can negotiate a low rate, the small ones get stiffed. My business gets taxed at 20%, and on what I take out I pay an additional 25% dividend tax. The big guys? They pay little, it's for good reason that so many international corporations set up their Euro HQ in the Netherlands. And guys like Bono (U2) are doing the same thing.

    I suppose it is the same all over: poor people or businesses have little money to tax, and the rich/large ones make sure their interests are mobile: tax them too much and they'll up and leave. It's the ones in the middle who get screwed.

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