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Google boss Eric Schmidt said he was 'very proud' of the elaborate structure that helped the search giant slash more than £200m from its UK tax bill last year
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Maniac Fox's profile photoDan Martin (Malum Scientificus)'s profile photoPaul Clews's profile photoDan O's profile photo
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fair enough I'd say.  The government has set the goal posts and Google is just playing by the rules by the sounds of it.  Perhaps government needs to review the rulebook...
 
If they didn't use all legal means of lowering their tax liability their investors would lose faith in their ability to protect their interests. Exactly as +Christo Norman and +Dan Cross say.
 
Eric has it spot on, "Google plays by the rules set by politicians. The only people who really have choices are politicians...". If people could legally pay less tax on their income I'm sure nearly everyone would, so why do we expect companies to be any different? The government are sabre rattling idiots and HMRC couldn't organise a sandwich in a paper bag... so I'm sure we'll get this debacle sorted, some time this millenium... maybe.
 
That's the difference though, most normal people cannot avoid paying tax. Most normal people struggle or just manage to get by. This is a huge company that are obviously not struggling, and on top of that they manage to avoid paying millions in tax. You are right in that it's only the policitians that can change this, but it's still not right, and I completely understand why Google, Starbucks etc are being criticised. It's disgusting!
 
Most people are in the same boat, I reckon. The ratio of income to outgoings has got to be somewhat constant for most people. Just so happens that companies such as Google have a huge amount of income, which makes us think 'wow, they could really afford to pay 100% tax', although their monthly outgoings are probably more than some people would earn in their whole working life.

More money, more spends; everyone has to watch the pennies.
 
No one's asking them to pay 100% tax, we're just asking them to pay the same amount as tax as other businesses do.
 
Other businesses aren't legally obliged to, just as Google aren't. Besides I was just commenting on the 'surely Google can afford to pay the tax that they avoided' side of things.
 
If you could legally, and easily, pay 2% tax on your earnings even though your neighbour was paying 20-40% on theirs, would you?

Or would you say: "No, i'll pay the 20-40% tax on my money because I'm an upstanding citizen"?
 
For a company that claims "Do no evil" as their motto +Dave O'Keeffe, the choice is a simple one. If you want to avoid claims of hypocrisy of course.
 
+Ben Lloyd How do you compare paying less tax to doing evil deeds? :\ It's not evil to take advantage of government created tax breaks or incentives!
 
Simple - a loophole is not created intentionally
 
They have obviously got their accountants to look into ways of avoiding tax, and have succeded, saving the business millions. Millions that could've helped sort this country out. It is pure greed and morally wrong.
 
Ah. Morality. So, what percentage of tax is moral?

Say the standard rate of tax is 20%. Is that moral? Or is it just moral to pay the legally defined amount? Surely, it's moral to pay as much as you can afford?

Is it immoral to pay 1% less? 10% less? Surely the only moral issue is that of legality?
 
i would like to take you on a date dave
 
You can say what you want, you won't be changing my mind on the subject. Especially when these stories come out and a few days later you get some politican saying that normal people should be paying more tax on this, that and the other. If they didn't have these loop-holes the country wouldn't be in the situation it is now.
 
+Richard Brown Hypothetically, I am an accountant and I say, Richard, I can legally use the current tax regulations so that you only pay 2% tax on your income instead of 40%. If you say that you would voluntarily pay an extra 38% in tax then I'm not entirely sure I believe you and if you really were genuine then you would be in a very, very, very small minority. Greedy and immoral? I think you just summed up the human race, given the opportunity, no?
 
I agree +Richard Brown! If companies all paid the higher 'moral' rates of tax, we'd have loads more money to spend on welfare, education etc. I 100% agree.

But please don't brand the companies as the bad guys - it's the government. They create the tax system, they monitor it, and they can change it. It doesn't matter which company it is, or which individual, there's only 1 institution that can create an equal playing field - Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
 
Soooo... No one minds that the rich and the corporate lobbyists essentially bribe every lawmaker in the world to pass laws in their favor? Legally, of course, as the first loopholes added are always to put more $$$ in their election war chests, and promised astronomical salaries for 'advisory' positions after they're out office. So the question you must ask yourselves is, "Are laws passed with the pure intent to boost politicians bank accounts legitimate laws?" 
 
+Dan Martin Different issue than the legality of using the current tax system. That said, your point is perfectly valid and does highlight the problems associated with lobbying. People in power want to stay in power and will do what they need to in order for that to happen.
 
That is a different issue in the same sense that killing a virus is a different issue than the fact you have a disease. The only way you can cure the disease is to kill the virus... or die.
 
I think it's easier to close a loophole in the tax code then it is to "fix" corruption at every level of government?
 
+Dan Martin I'm afraid the disease is humanity. If you were CEO of Philip Morris you would be lobbying government not to pass anti-smoking legislation. The only reason you don't is because you're not. It's easy and meaningless to take the moral high ground and snipe at the top when you're not at the top.
 
How can you expect a corrupt government to do anything which would be detrimental to themselves? Remember, for most of them getting voted out of office merely means multi-million dollar board and lobbying positions the next week. The system has been changed so gradually that no one noticed that now all of the incentive is to be corrupt. Example: Senator D. Bagg can either vote for election reform today and his vote will be forgotten 3 years later at the election, but if he votes no, then a $1000 per plate fundraiser will be held for him by Halliburton the following month. All legal. Are any of them going to risk their hedonistic lifestyles? A few maybe. But never a majority.
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