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Thread: Starbucks Warned Due To Volunteering To Pay Tax

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    Consul Kurtz's Avatar
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    Default Starbucks Warned Due To Volunteering To Pay Tax

    Too damn right!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20657312

    Not sure if people have noticed this, but the UK has been playing a little "point and shame" game when it comes to tax recently with some notable people such as comedian Jimmy Carr coming under fire for tax avoidance (note not evasion). While I do love the idea that corporations and rich people are forced to pay their fair share, this is the first time that I've seen the government actually come out and get irritable about it at this level. About bloody time I say.

    However it is rather nice to see that, whilst the government has been sitting on their proverbial hands, normal people have been speaking out against tax avoidance and that it has become such a big thing there.

    Am of course sure that for every corporation or person that gets pointed at, there are at least 100 people avoiding taxes that don't get this treatment, so closing the loopholes that allow these parasites to not pay tax is paramount. But the public have spoken. Thank Shiva for that.

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    Meherrin's Avatar
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    You want Corporations and really rich people paying their fair share of taxes? Just because the tax-supported public infrastructure provides the environment which enables them to make lots of money?

    What are you, some kind of socialist?
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
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    The sad part is that the super-wealthy are willing to pay people a lot of money to avoid taxes. Just pay the taxes in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meherrin View Post
    You want Corporations and really rich people paying their fair share of taxes? Just because the tax-supported public infrastructure provides the environment which enables them to make lots of money?

    What are you, some kind of socialist?
    I've made the argument against this statement before already.

    Once upon a time (and still today in many cases), a company would make their own roads, railways, infrastructure, etc.

    Then again... if a company has a fleet of trucks (for example), then they are paying their share of taxes for the road infrastructure in vehicle registration fees & taxes, as well as gasoline taxes. If the company doesn't have company vehicles, then their employees & customers are paying the taxes for the road infrastructure.

    Typically Water & Sewer are one bill... not taxes. Same with Electricity, telephone & internet... those are bills, not taxes, which a company pays.

    So, what infrastructure is a company's "taxes" paying for?
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    Infrastructure goes a lot further than roads and utilities - but even in just those areas, you must know that usage charges and gasoline taxes primarily cover maintenance and not capital investment. Building a new bridge or highway or power plant requires additional financial commitment that comes out of general revenue not gasoline tax or electric bill.

    More than that, who pays for the regulatory systems that ensure that the products a corporation buys are up to standard, for maintaining health and safety inspections, for providing court sysyems that corporations as well as individuals use in seeking legal redress? Who pays for social, health and educational programs that mean the corporation has access to well-trained, healthy workers? What about diplomats who negotiate international trade agreements? There are many ways in which both people and corporations benefit from the activities of govenments which are funded from general tax revenues. Individuals pay income taxes to support these benefits, why shouldn't corporations do the same?
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meherrin View Post
    Infrastructure goes a lot further than roads and utilities - but even in just those areas, you must know that usage charges and gasoline taxes primarily cover maintenance and not capital investment. Building a new bridge or highway or power plant requires additional financial commitment that comes out of general revenue not gasoline tax or electric bill.

    More than that, who pays for the regulatory systems that ensure that the products a corporation buys are up to standard, for maintaining health and safety inspections, for providing court sysyems that corporations as well as individuals use in seeking legal redress? Who pays for social, health and educational programs that mean the corporation has access to well-trained, healthy workers? What about diplomats who negotiate international trade agreements? There are many ways in which both people and corporations benefit from the activities of govenments which are funded from general tax revenues. Individuals pay income taxes to support these benefits, why shouldn't corporations do the same?
    Property Taxes... paid by companies that own property. That's a local tax, so it goes to pay for things like local schools & other local/state programs.

    Oh, and companies (in effect) pay income taxes, by employing people and giving them the money that is put into Social Security, Income Taxes, etc.

    If you want to talk about persona taxl evading Corporate Officers... fine, I agree with you. I think there are too many loopholes & ways for wealthy individuals to avoid taxes.

    But I certainly don't agree with your viewpoint on corporate taxes.
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    I'm not surprised that we disagree, considering that (if i am correct in thinking that you hold Libertarian views) we are on opposite ends of the philosophical spectrum on fiscal issues.

    I'm not going to discuss specific taxes and programs with respect to corporations, largely because what public programs and services are paid for by which levels of government differs greatly from country to country. Your comments about property taxes, for instance, are not wholely applicable to Canada, where i live.

    Suffice it to say that I take a very broad view of the benefits that corporations receive from the infrastucture provided by governments, and believe that a certain percentage of their profits should go to the state in order to pay for those benefits. Your assessment of the benefits received from infrastructure is a much narrower one, as I understand your argument, and your views on taxation of corporations reflect that. I suspect that neither one of us is likely to sway the other.
    And now I'll tell you what's against us, an art that's lived for centuries. Go through the years and you will find what's blackened all of history. Against us is the law with its immensity of strength and power - against us is the law! Police know how to make a man a guilty or an innocent. Against us is the power of police! The shameless lies that men have told will ever more be paid in gold - against us is the power of the gold! Against us is racial hatred and the simple fact that we are poor.
    - The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, Joan Baez

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cat Goddess View Post
    If you want to talk about persona taxl evading Corporate Officers... fine, I agree with you. I think there are too many loopholes & ways for wealthy individuals to avoid taxes.
    I dislike the term loophole. It's disingenuous.

    It's a tax credit, cut, or other benefit coded into the tax laws that the company takes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by StealthSigma View Post
    I dislike the term loophole. It's disingenuous.

    It's a tax credit, cut, or other benefit coded into the tax laws that the company takes.
    A loophole specifically refers to certain financial activities which are not covered by the tax code at all. An example would be the way that one can close up the finances of a Super-PAC in such a way as to keep all the money, yet not be required to report it as income or have it taxed at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cat Goddess View Post
    So, what infrastructure is a company's "taxes" paying for?
    Corporate taxes are a method for preventing wealth accumulation and stagnation in corporations by encouraging them to reinvest their earning towards expanding their businesses, facility upgrades, or extra wages, all of which have a spin off effect on the economy. So in effect the act of causing them to dodge taxes causes them to expand their potential customer base, and if they pay the taxes the government can redistribute it which could cause greater benefits for the poor which has a carry on effect which in turn gives a broader base for the corporation.

    They should ideally be paired with high upper tier tax levels to prevent excess wage accumulation by those who own significant capital assets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cat Goddess View Post
    So, what infrastructure is a company's "taxes" paying for?
    They pay for the privilege of being able to do business in a country where there is the infrastructure necessary to be able to do so efficiently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirveri View Post
    Corporate taxes are a method for preventing wealth accumulation and stagnation in corporations by encouraging them to reinvest their earning towards expanding their businesses, facility upgrades, or extra wages, all of which have a spin off effect on the economy. So in effect the act of causing them to dodge taxes causes them to expand their potential customer base, and if they pay the taxes the government can redistribute it which could cause greater benefits for the poor which has a carry on effect which in turn gives a broader base for the corporation.

    They should ideally be paired with high upper tier tax levels to prevent excess wage accumulation by those who own significant capital assets.
    Which is, again, why I prefer streamlining the personal tax codes more than increasing the corporate tax burden.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurtz View Post
    They pay for the privilege of being able to do business in a country where there is the infrastructure necessary to be able to do so efficiently.
    Which leads companies to off-shoring.

    After all, they only need to sell products in the wealthier nations... not actually "do business" there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cat Goddess View Post
    Which leads companies to off-shoring.

    After all, they only need to sell products in the wealthier nations... not actually "do business" there.
    That is where you're wrong. Offshoring doesn't happen due to corporate taxes. Those are already very low in the US compared with most other countries. That's got to do with wages purely and simple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurtz View Post
    That is where you're wrong. Offshoring doesn't happen due to corporate taxes. Those are already very low in the US compared with most other countries. That's got to do with wages purely and simple.
    That and safety standards. And Union busting to a lesser extent. With hi tech manufacturing those things matter much less. Have three shifts, staff 2 and program the robots to do work for the last shift for a lights out 8 hour shift. Great for parts with complex contours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirveri View Post
    That and safety standards. And Union busting to a lesser extent. With hi tech manufacturing those things matter much less. Have three shifts, staff 2 and program the robots to do work for the last shift for a lights out 8 hour shift. Great for parts with complex contours.
    This is what I keep saying. The only way we can hope to stay ahead is to go further high tech. We can't compete with low cost countries in low tech stuff, so there really is only 1 thing we can do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurtz View Post
    This is what I keep saying. The only way we can hope to stay ahead is to go further high tech. We can't compete with low cost countries in low tech stuff, so there really is only 1 thing we can do.
    Or we could write our trade laws such that companies can't outsource production to nations with reduced worker protections. No offshoring unless they're limited to 40 hour weeks and have adequate safety standards. Still wouldn't achieve parity on wages, but at least then it would cause less death and carnage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirveri View Post
    Or we could write our trade laws such that companies can't outsource production to nations with reduced worker protections. No offshoring unless they're limited to 40 hour weeks and have adequate safety standards. Still wouldn't achieve parity on wages, but at least then it would cause less death and carnage.
    But that would limit the free market and fair trade stuff already.... oh wait....

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