Why would Boots dispute this?

Interestingly, when these same groups released a report on the company’s tax avoidance last autumn, Alliance Boots did not seem to dispute the central allegation: that it had taken on billions of pounds in debt in 2007 as a part of a leveraged buyout and that it has reduced its taxable income by roughly 4 billion via liberal use of the debt interest deduction from 2007 onwards.

Given that it’s the simple truth why would they disagree?

Interest is a deductible business expense. That’s why it gets taxed when it lands in the hands of the recipients.

Why is this a problem for anyone?

16 comments on “Why would Boots dispute this?

  1. I’m surprised it isn’t a “neo-liberal use of the debt interest reduction”.

    But you have to remember, it is all about framing the narrative. Boots are claimed to have done something evil, remember. And they aren’t denying it. Therefore Boots have done something evil.

    Now, for view from reality, just drop the word “evil” when it appears in the above paragraph and insert “might” in front of “have” in the last sentence thereof.

  2. I despair

    How do you talk to people who ignore the law and have no idea of business, wealth creation and development, hate all three and yet want ever-higher tax-take but only within their petty jurisdiction?

    How or why should a company apologise for behaving as intended in law in its attempt to better satisfy citizen’s needs (‘cos if it doesn’t we all know where it will end up) and perpetuate itself to create wealth for its promoters and owners.

  3. I am a little bit confused: as far as I can tell nobody is suggesting Boots sought legal advice. So how can it be avoidance?

    P.S. As a rule of thumb, when I take paracetamol my headache goes away. There seems to be no cure, however, for Richard Murphy; the pain in the neck remains.

  4. I suppose your view of this chap is that he’s both a fool and a knave. I think I’ve got the message. Why don’t you go back to harpooning that dugong de nos jours, La Toynbee? She espouses a wider, more interesting range of drivel.

  5. Polly’s detractors occupy rather a crowded filed. Ritchie on the other hand speaks to a few; we have the unworthy pleasure therefore of knowing he reads our thoughts on his bollocks and, for instance when he deletes my comment and doesn’t even tell his friends he has done it, that we get right under his skin.

  6. @Ironman enough paracetamol would cure that, too. One day I suspect his wife will crack.

  7. So Boots pays interest and someone somewhere receives that, forming presumably part of their business income and part of whatever taxable profit that business makes.
    So tax is probably paid on that money minus expenses – just not by Boots.

  8. Martin,

    You must have missed the memo, in their world Boots would pay tax and then the recipient of the interest also pays tax.

  9. The Courageous State is showing its true colours and running away from a little troll. So this blog seems a good place to point out Murphy’s breathtaking double-standards.

    When it is suggested you may not condemn a business that is operating within the law he replies “Oh yes I can” and waffles on about ‘ethics’ (Boots not having any of course – and no need to bother with anything as cumbersome as fair tax Marks here). However, when the ethics of his friends (or a tax advisor who proposes his wealthy clients form a personal services company for their domestic help) well then, Parliament allows that, nothing to see, move along.

    The Courageous State is like the ’70s teenage wannabe hooligans who shouted abuse from behind fences and lines of policemen – actually totally cowardly.

  10. Ironman (various)

    Did you actually get on the Boots post, or did he delete your first comment?

  11. He must like me then – he lets me post as much as I want 🙂

    Not as much as the people clicking the buttons on his site do, though. If you take the likes and dislikes as a guide, I should be running that blog 😀

  12. Actually, I conducted an experiement to see how many times i could like you. Sounds creepy when you write it like that doesn’t it.

  13. On the subject of double standards, I notice he has accepte dand approved of a comment that goes something like “Can’t you see that it(Boots) is immoral?”

    Morality isn’t subjective after all…if you agree with me.

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