Opinion

Is it fair that profitable companies pay no taxes?

2018-12-20 12:59 #0 by: Niklas

International companies can pay very little taxes, or no taxes, in several countries where they do business. It’s not that they don’t make profits. They do. It’s just that by using the tax regulations cleverly, they can put all company profits in countries with low corporate taxes. They pay no corporate taxes in countries where they make most of their profits.

Some of these corporations are among the worlds largest and most profitable.

Do you think this is sustainable? How do you think this affects the competition with smaller local companies, without a choice of moving profits abroad? If you think changes should be made, who’s responsibility is it? What should they do?

(Photo by Floriane Vita at Unsplash)

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2018-12-20 13:30 #1 by: Tammie

I think it wrong to have these loop holes in taxes for large corporations. I don't have an answer for how to fix it but I think that it is wrong.

Happy creating!

Tammie

Host of Paints and Crafts

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2018-12-20 21:39 #2 by: Leia

#1 Likewise to Tammie I definitely believe it's not right, I think it has had a massive on smaller businesses, I wish I had the answers but its far from my expertise. 

All the best, Leia

Host of  Gluten-Free Living | News  | English Language Heart

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2018-12-21 09:06 #3 by: Niklas

One way of leveling the playing field could be to institute a turnover tax for multinational corporations. Then you wouldn't be able to sell goods in one country and ship the profits to a low-tax country without also paying taxes where the gains were made.

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2018-12-21 13:17 #4 by: Evelina

There is a lot of issues with the ways in which these companies transfer profits around within their various subsidiaries. Several subsidiaries are placed in low to zero tax countries. Some companies like Amazon even have their headquarters located in countries, such as Ireland, which is low tax. It is up the the regulations of these countries as to whether the multinational country can legally be registered to be a resident of that country. Of course, these countries want the companies to be registered in their countries so the regulations are not strict. 

I remember last year I had a course on International Finance and we learned several 'legal' ways to shift things on the balance sheet in order to pay less taxes. I didn't  think it was very moral at all. I guess that's why I didn't pursue finance. 

We need some sort of  international tax auditor and regulator (maybe there is one already, I dunno). 

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2018-12-21 19:32 #5 by: jordan

While I also wouldn't know of any solutions, I definitely think something needs to be done, especially in the UK. For example, a footballer for Chelsea, who rejected the opportunity to move his earnings to a tax friendly bank off shore, will end up paying more tax than Amazon and Starbucks... COMBINED. How on earth is that fair? 

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2018-12-21 20:14 #6 by: Leia

#5 Why did he reject the chance?  was it to make a moral stance?

All the best, Leia

Host of  Gluten-Free Living | News  | English Language Heart

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2018-12-22 15:07 #7 by: Niklas

I think a change in expectations among consumers is needed. We must start to expect companies to pay taxes where the profits are made. Just like we have started to expect them to treat employees well and pay fair salaries.

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2018-12-27 19:43 #8 by: jordan

#6 The guy is known as the one of the most genuine personalities in football. He wasn't comfortable taking part in the unethical practice, so opted out. Good on him!

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2018-12-30 17:11 #9 by: Leia

#8 The world needs more people like that!

All the best, Leia

Host of  Gluten-Free Living | News  | English Language Heart

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2018-12-30 19:42 #10 by: jordan

#9 Honestly it does! The same guy was also too shy to hold the World Cup he played a key role in winning, he is just too humble.

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2019-01-13 13:28 #11 by: MaxImpact

There is quite a strong theoretical argument that all corporate taxes should be zero. I appreciate that this will seem highly antithetical to common sense for most without a grounding in finance. The argument is that though in the public's imagination corporates are akin to very wealthy people, infact they are no more than a legal construct. Tax can only ultimately be paid by real people and when tax is collected at the corporate level there is considerable uncertainty as to who ultimately will pay, the shareholders, the employees or the customers. In situations where some companies but not others pay tax as in Amazon and its traditional bricks & morter competitor, the benefits are likely to accrue substantially to the shareholders notably Jeff Bezos and his soon to be incredibly wealthy soon to be ex wife Mackenzie. If all corporates were to play on a more level playing field the distribution of gains may be different depending on the changes in the tax regime put into replace corporate income tax.

I'm not saying that that such a regime would be without issues, but it maybe much fairer than would at first glance be imagined. Of course politically it would be what can only be described as a difficult sell.

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