In the arrangements that I've looked at the loan was repayable.
That's certainly what the documents said.
And my experience is that when a document says something that results in more tax being paid, HMRC seem to set a lot of weight on it. Certainly, it would be a waste of time for a taxpayer to try and argue that what the document clearly stated was not the actual intention.
There has obviously been a shift in public opinion on tax. I call it the Ken Dodd/Jimmy Carr shift.
Ken Dodd won his tax (evasion) case against HMRC and was cheered by his audience when he told jokes about it in his show. Jimmy Carr lost his tax (avoidance) case and was heckled about it and ended up apologising.
I expect every tax advisor has had a client fall foul of the exactitude of tax rules. Seemingly reasonable actions turn out to be mistakes and HMRC is insistent that "rules is rules". Fairness and equity don't matter, what the client clearly and obviously intended to do isn't relevant if the letter of the law wasn't followed.
So if HMRC can insist on the letter of the law, can the public? If technicalities can cost clients large amounts of tax, can technicalities be taken advantage of to reduce a tax bill?
Remember the rush to incorporate small businesses when Gordan Brown introduced the 0% tax band for companies in 2002? Was anyone acting improperly then? Did anyone moralise about this? Suppose the 2006 scrapping of the nil rate band had been back-dated to 2002? Brown at the time cited 'unfair tax avoidance by small companies' as the reason it was scrapped so why not back-date it? I'm sure a convoluted method of doing this could have been devised so it didn't look like it was a back-dating.
It seems to me that's what has happened here. People followed the rules as they were at the time. Just as HMRC follow the rules as they are at the time. What of the 'morality' of paying tax? There is no 'morality' mentioned by HMRC or the government when a mistake is made and more tax paid then need be. It's an odd morality that works in one direction only.
Whatever else, it seems to me that the loan charge is a spiteful measure which will cause far more harm to those affected by it than it will bring benefit to the government. What's a few billion to the government? Even if they do collect that much.
The government could have drawn a line going forward but chose to cast a net backwards. I've always thought that any legal code worthy of the name should restrict the enforcers of the law as well as its subjects. This doesn't seem to do that.
Oh well, no-one else said it so I will.
If Labour is the answer it must have been a *%£!ing ridiculous question.
As lazy an article as any I have read in the media.
Amazon's a world-wide business. It makes sense to centralise sales operations and if you were looking for a centralised location in Europe what would you look for? The highest taxing country? The article makes it sound like Amazon's clever tax advisors are running rings round a hapless HMRC. There's nothing cunning or devious about Amazon's plans and HMRC are bound by the law just as much as Amazon are.
There's this lazy idea out there that the UK should rightfully tax all UK businesses for all their sales wherever they are in the world AND tax all UK sales of all other businesses no matter where in the world the business is located. I think other countries tax authorities might have a problem with that.
And then there's the practicalities. You want to tax a French company that sells a toaster to a UK customer? Good luck forcing the French company to submit a tax return. Good luck forcing the company to hand over the tax. And even if you could set up such a system, what would that do to small businesses looking to expand? You want every small company to file a tax return (under different rules and rates) in every country it exports to? Goodbye international trade for all but the biggest companies.
And back to Amazon. I read that bonuses paid to staff reduced Amazon's taxable profits. Shock horror. Company uses 'tax dodge' of paying staff to reduce CT profits. What next? A fish and chip shop lowering its profits by buying fish and potatoes?
The author of the article blames the 'tax avoidance industry'. What tax avoidance? I'm not guilty of 'speeding fine avoidance' if I travel at 29 mph in a 30 mph zone, I'm obeying the law. Is the author seriously saying that he has advised clients to take a course of action they need not, just so they can pay more tax than they need to? Like saying, "Hey, drive down that road at 60. You'll get a fine. Think what good that'll do to the nation's coffers if you do it twice a day".
And has that much really changed to the concept? If 40 years ago I would have phoned a Parisian book shop and ordered a book, it's obvious that the profits arise in Paris and are taxed in France. What's changed now that I do that on-line?
Why not an 'ability, commitment and experience pay gap'?
They could see if people of different ability, commitment and expereince were paid the same.
They'd probably find they weren't.
My guess would be that Rebecca didn't discuss costings in manifestos as the article was a comparison of key tax policies and not a political plug for one or other of the parties.
"AirBNB lowers price gap due to tax advantage"
No it doesn't. The people who let their rooms out don't (for the most part) charge VAT because they are under the VAT threshold. If a B&B happened to be under the threshold and was advertising in the Warmington-on-Sea Herald, would they say that the Herald was lowering B&B prices?
That's what Airbnb is. A modern place for lettings' businesses to advertise. And Airbnb charges VAT on the services IT provides, leaving the B&B/homeowner to charge VAT on the services IT is providing, if they are over the threshold.
Airbnb don't own the properties, don't rent them out, don't service them. They just advertise them. The VAT point is just ridiculous.
Same with the rent-a-room relief. How do Airbnb benefit from that? They don't but the homeowner might.
It's just another 'bash an internet company' media story run by people who either don't understand how tax works or are willfully misleading people.
Besides, how can you compare a 200 room hotel with somebody letting their spare room out at the weekends? Do people not think the former might have higher overheads and need to charge more?
So low tax rates and tax incentives are automatically harmful?
I'm amazed that HMRC lost.
Of course FTT decisions carry no weight so HMRC might not appeal if they'd just done a really bad job on the case.
But as others have said - would they have sponsored anyone else to that degree? Would anyone else have sponsored the girl to that extent?
That 'report' sounds pretty hokey. What did they do? Just add up the time and words that her races were on TV and in the media and work out how much an advert of similar size would have cost? And surely it's the sort of thing that would have been needed BEFORE sponsorship was entered into.
I as the employee was keen to take up ESS, but my employer was uncomfortable with me giving up employment rights. So we never took this up."
I'm guessing you didn't take suitably qualified advice?
If you had you would have been told that the employment rights you 'gave up' under ESS could have been given back to you contractually.
Still, you did save on advisor's fees and that's the main thing.