12 comments on “Why is Margaret, Lady Hodge, demanding that Apple act illegally over tax?

  1. “Apple faced fury last night after it was revealed that it paid just £11.4million in British corporation tax last year – despite sales of a record £10.5billion.”

    That’s nothing. The Chinese National Petroleum Company has revenues of $425Bn, and yet those bastards aren’t paying a penny to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

    “The US technology giant rakes in billions selling its high-end gadgets but funnels its sales through Ireland to minimise its UK tax bill.”

    Those inscrutable Chinee bastards at CNPC have a similar scam going on, by funnelling their sales through Beijing to minimise their UK tax bill.

  2. Because, as far as she seems to be concerned, “the law” is what she and her friends say. Okay, it is following a vote in Parliament, but not in the printing of a Guardian column. The difference seems to escape so many of them.

  3. Love her use of the sound ‘everybody knows’ reasoning… very logical. ‘Everyone knows’ she’s an utter lying cunt who should jump under a bus but she wont.

  4. You don’t here her demanding that companies charge overseas subsidiaries lower prices when they choose the UK as their tax base.

  5. I protest at your typo, Tim. “Lady Margaret Dodge”, please, in honour of her own receipt of tax-dodged family money.

  6. Or “Margaret, Lady Dodge”, assuming that you’ve got the etiquette right. And assuming that she’s not the first child of a Duke’s second mistress, of course.

  7. Why do so many people still willingly confuse profit with turnover?

    Because they can get away with it

  8. The media (and grandees using the opportunity) are really really annoyed that British companies do not have a sales tax on their sales.
    We have VAT but thats a tax collected by companies from buyers and ignored by the media and grandees.

  9. Alan_t – That and plain ignorance. Most of these hacks have degrees in English literature and no practical experience of how tax works.

    I imagine there’s also a general confusion about the difference between where sales arise for tax purposes and where they are disclosed as arising under IFRS. The hacks are dimly aware of the difference, but not interested in chasing it up. At best they will be copying bits out of Private Eye – it wouldn’t occur to them to consider the impact of EU law etc.

  10. “Why do so many people still willingly confuse profit with turnover?”

    Because the whole point of much of the debate around tax avoidance is that profits are manipulated, so it makes no sense to talk about profit. The point they are trying to make is that high turnover = lots of trade = tax should be payable.

    So if Apple, a very profitable company, has a high turnover in the UK, then it’s fair to assume that they make good profits, somewhere, on that turnover. And they do. But none of it gets taxed here. That’s their point, and using turnover as a proxy for ‘profitable activity’ is the tool they use. It’s not an unreasonable starting point.. the problem is that they use it as their end point also.. thus letting the casual observer make the assumption that something must be terribly wrong, and it’s because of dodgy dealings. Not, for example, because of the combination of the EU single market, and transfer pricing rules.

    Also, of course, the tactic fails to get anywhere near the truth of things where a company has high turnover but is not, either locally or globally, especially profitable. See Starbucks and Amazon for details.

  11. Or indeed airlines – very large turnover, very large costs too. Occasionally an airline goes under, not uncommon for some in a year (or even multiple years) reporting a loss.

    Talk about turnover and you think they are doing well. Turnover may be paying the bills, does not mean its profit.
    Profit is sanity
    Turnover is vanity

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