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JohnM

After Starbucks, etc comes.....

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Stemcor pays just 0.01pc tax on £2.1bn of business generated in the UK.

Stem-who? Ask Margaret Hodge about her family company! See http://blogs.channel...-for-hodge/1915

Should go down well when yet another hypocritical Champagne Socialist has a go at Starbucks over transfer pricing and corporation tax.

Turns out the Telegraph were mistaken.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/9740964/Margaret-Hodge-MP-apology.html

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Oh well, back to the drawing board. :(

Oh, hang on a min, though. This should give her apoplexy!

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Stemcor pays just 0.01pc tax on £2.1bn of business generated in the UK.

Stem-who? Ask Margaret Hodge about her family company! See http://blogs.channel...-for-hodge/1915

Should go down well when yet another hypocritical Champagne Socialist has a go at Starbucks over transfer pricing and corporation tax.

The business that Stemcor is in is inherently a low margin one, so it's easy to be mischievous and show their tax as a proportion of revenue. In reality, companies pay tax on profit and a quick look at the Stemcor accounts will tell you that they pay, nominally at least, an appropriate amount of tax.

But then again, the same could be said about Starbucks. The big question to me is where that tax is paid, and whether it is ever paid at all or simply "deferred" and forgotten about.

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Oh well, back to the drawing board. :(

Oh, hang on a min, though. This should give her apoplexy!

Yes, it should.

And that man is rather foolish IMO.

Despite the much trumpeted launch of hardware that you can hold in you hand, Google is still exceptionally dependent on revenue generated from advertising on their website. Which is a problem. If I decide to not use Starbucks I have to vary my route to work to buy a different coffee. If I decide to not use Google I make one small adjustment to my browser and Google is gone from my life forever.

The constant battle for internet companies is to provide "stickability". Something that will bring the users back time and time again. The truth is, Google actually has very little of it beyond the laziness of it's users.

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Yes, it should.

And that man is rather foolish IMO.

Despite the much trumpeted launch of hardware that you can hold in you hand, Google is still exceptionally dependent on revenue generated from advertising on their website. Which is a problem. If I decide to not use Starbucks I have to vary my route to work to buy a different coffee. If I decide to not use Google I make one small adjustment to my browser and Google is gone from my life forever.

The constant battle for internet companies is to provide "stickability". Something that will bring the users back time and time again. The truth is, Google actually has very little of it beyond the laziness of it's users.

The only exception I can think of to the rule that big internet companies are beyond stupid when it comes to realising their customers have no loyalty is Amazon - and that's because they are forever tweaking their site, increasing personalisation in a useful way etc etc. And even they still have to drive prices down all the time *and* be convenient.

The problem with changing search engines is that Google works and I've yet to find another that works as well or better.

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The only exception I can think of to the rule that big internet companies are beyond stupid when it comes to realising their customers have no loyalty is Amazon - and that's because they are forever tweaking their site, increasing personalisation in a useful way etc etc. And even they still have to drive prices down all the time *and* be convenient.

The problem with changing search engines is that Google works and I've yet to find another that works as well or better.

I wonder if the reason is that Amazon hasn't historically been an internet company. It's a supply chain company with a neat website. Perhaps the reality of having to spend so much on actual physical stock and warehouses has kept them much more grounded than Google?

Also, you yourself buy stuff from Amazon. You are the customer. They have to care about you. Google's customers are advertisers. You are their raw material.

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Couple of questions I have not seen answered during the recent vilification of Starbucks

- what if any, British companies arrange their business affairs to minimise the tax they pay in other countries where they operate because by remitting profits here, they may pay less tax

- ditto other mulitinational swho operate here - Thales, Astrium, EADS, Airbus, Volkswagen, BMW, GM etc

We know the UK govt arranges its affairs to use tax havens ( see http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/08/revenue-tax-offshore-millions-avoidance and we all know that the original trust structure of the Guardian was set up by CP Scott to avoid inheritance taxes and that it was wound up in 2008 to exploit a loophole enabling them to pay zero capital gains tax on £307 million in profits.

All perfectly legal of course.

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we all know that the original trust structure of the Guardian was set up by CP Scott to avoid inheritance taxes and that it was wound up in 2008 to exploit a loophole enabling them to pay zero capital gains tax on £307 million in profits.

First I've heard of that John, do tell us more.

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I wonder if the reason is that Amazon hasn't historically been an internet company.

I think that's a good point. It was never a dot com. It was a bookshop that didn't have a high street presence. And then later it was a book shop with a giant marketplace attached that doesn't have a high street presence.

It also avoids tax and always has done. Its DVDs used to come via Jersey.

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From http://www.gmgplc.co.uk/the-scott-trust/purpose/

The Scott Trust was created in 1936 following the death of CP Scott and his son Edward in 1932. Edward’s brother John was left as the sole owner, and was faced with the threat of death duties, which would have crippled the business and jeopardised the future independence of the newspaper.To avoid this, and to secure his father’s legacy of the Manchester Guardian’s independent liberal journalism, John Scott voluntarily renounced all financial interest in the business for himself and his family, putting all his shares – worth more than £1 million at the time – into a trust.

Of course, all perfectly legal, and indeed a sensible thing to do, and something they don't hide. They are a bit more sensitive to their Cayman Isles connections, though.

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Couple of questions I have not seen answered during the recent vilification of Starbucks

- what if any, British companies arrange their business affairs to minimise the tax they pay in other countries where they operate because by remitting profits here, they may pay less tax

- ditto other mulitinational swho operate here - Thales, Astrium, EADS, Airbus, Volkswagen, BMW, GM etc

I'd started to wonder about this, its always presented as a "win win" if Starbucks etc pay tax here then its additional money, nobody (certainly not in the news anyhow) seems to have bothered digging to see what the negative effect to the UK would be if Holland/Switzerland/whoever started to claw back there lost tax revenue from other companies.

I think that's a good point. It was never a dot com. It was a bookshop that didn't have a high street presence. And then later it was a book shop with a giant marketplace attached that doesn't have a high street presence.

It also avoids tax and always has done. Its DVDs used to come via Jersey.

The marketplace is an interesting one, and e-bay for that matter, I wonder how many people out there are up in arms about the antics of these companies whilst making a tidy profit using such tools themselves that never gets declared anywhere!

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From http://www.gmgplc.co...-trust/purpose/

The Scott Trust was created in 1936 following the death of CP Scott and his son Edward in 1932. Edward’s brother John was left as the sole owner, and was faced with the threat of death duties, which would have crippled the business and jeopardised the future independence of the newspaper.To avoid this, and to secure his father’s legacy of the Manchester Guardian’s independent liberal journalism, John Scott voluntarily renounced all financial interest in the business for himself and his family, putting all his shares – worth more than £1 million at the time – into a trust.

Of course, all perfectly legal, and indeed a sensible thing to do, and something they don't hide. They are a bit more sensitive to their Cayman Isles connections, though.

That's really fascinating John. You obviously know a lot about it. I'm surprised you haven't mentioned it before. Have you only just discovered it yourself?

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It also avoids tax and always has done. Its DVDs used to come via Jersey.

And didn't try to hide it either. I remember that they advertised the VAT avoidance as a low price offer.

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And didn't try to hide it either. I remember that they advertised the VAT avoidance as a low price offer.

Indeed.

And I was one of many happy to buy my DVDs that way.

Of course, these days I just steal my music and films via illegal sites instead.

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Of course, these days I just steal my music and films via illegal sites instead.

Wimp.

I take musicians hostage and force them to play at knifepoint.

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Wimp.

I take musicians hostage and force them to play at knifepoint.

I would but it's my knee, y'know how it is ...

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Have you only just discovered it yourself?

Yes.

I think a trust is a good idea..but not the only way to run a paper, of course.

I started reading Fame is the Spur after it was serialised on Radio 4 Extra. The book started with a dramatic incident during the Peterloo Massacre. Being from Manchester originally, it stimulated me to have a prod around on the net which lead me eventually to that section of the Guardian (I recall the fuss in Manchester when the name Manchester was dropped and the paper moved south. At senior school in 1961 we went to the Manchester Guardian/MEN print works on Cross Street and saw the old Linotype machines in operation.) Later, in 1964, I attended a mates birthday party at the Manchester Reform Club (built for Manchester's Liberal Party elite) as his parents were in that category.

See? I am not entirely without soul or culture. It is just that Guardian in my view has moved quite a long way from its Radical - Liberal roots. Just because it is poorly laid out, generally humourless, miserable and includes Polly Toynbee does not make it any better an organ .

As an aside, Shabby Tiger takes place in the general area where parents lived until they were bombed out of the theatrical boarding house my paternal grandma ran.

You can play " At knifepoint " here http://www.audiospar...ound_iid.412489

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Google's Chairman Eric Schmidt said £2.5 billion tax avoidance 'is called capitalism'

He's right, time to bring the whole rotten edifice down.

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It is hardly a convincing argument that because of one company using tax loopholes, we should allow the far-left to destroy the economy.

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It is hardly a convincing argument that because of one company using tax loopholes, we should allow the far-left to destroy the economy.

and like one of Pavlov's dogs..... :lol:

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The problem with changing search engines is that Google works and I've yet to find another that works as well or better.

Following this comment I decided to ditch Google and have been searching for something as good.

I have settled on Blekko, which I've been using since Christmas and it seems to do everything I need without all the Google bloat. I am not sure what their ethics are like, but I have satisfactorily proved to myself that the only thing that keeps Google in business is user laziness.

The irony is, of course, that I found Blekko by searching on Google!

DuckDuckGo is much hyped but useless BTW.

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It seem to me that politicians are tackling this complately the wrong way by going after tax havens etc. It seems as if they don't want it to work as we have several within a few miles, Jersey, IOM etc that could be sorted in a few months.

I would get the EU to agree that any company with, say, more than £10M of sales within a country has to have a properly registered sales office in that country. Reputable companies do it - look at the bumph that came with your camera or similar, there in an office address nearly everywhere.

If they complain that this would be far too expensive then they can have the alternative of clearly stated sales figures for each country in their annual accounts on which they pay the right amount of tax. After all they do know exactly what these figures are.

All this rubbish about attracting business is a red herring. Are Amazon et. al. going to leave the UK - not on your life!

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Plenty of online retailers to fill any void if amazon do go.

Same with coffee houses. That paragon of social responsibility Tesco has invested in a chain of boutique coffee shops without particularly mentioning that they are involved.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20943739

Which goes to show that you have to either know the proprietor personally or do some good research if you want to avoid filling a megacorp's coffers.

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