Sir Philip Green and taxes

Always worrying when someone uses Bubba as an information source:

In 2006, using figures calculated by campaigning accountant Richard Murphy, the BBC\’s Money Programme reported that Philip Green and his family had saved themselves nearly £300m the previous year living partly in Monaco, where residents do not have to pay income tax.

For it\’s sorta true but rather misleading.

The shares in the holding company are not owned by Sir Philip. They\’re owned by his wife. Who is South African and a resident of Monaco. So the dividends are not taxable in the UK….just as they would not be with any other dividend payments to a foreigner not resident in the UK.

We could equally say that the Arab investment fund which owns a chunk of Barclay\’s is avoiding tax, BMW is avoiding tax on the Mini plant and so on.

25 thoughts on “Sir Philip Green and taxes”

  1. Clearly the Guardianista Alliance think that we should tax all foreigners living abroad. Better invest in a few more gunboats then!

  2. Tim, did she put up the money and/or do the work which led to that profit? I think we all know what Sir Phil did, and I don’t blame him one little bit.

    In fact, I admire his brazen fuck you to HMRC.

  3. An interesting concept – RM wants to be able to tax anyone, anywhere in the world, if he thinks they ‘should’ be paying tax.

    Hmmm – a Kay Tie says, we’re gonna need a big army/navy/airforce to make that one stick. Better reverse those defence cuts, and start building some dreadnoughts!

  4. Mr Fawkes,
    I do hope you express those sentiments as bluntly the next time you try to defend Tory policy in public (not just on blogs) …

    ..i.e. Tories think that rich people are perfectly right to avoid paying taxes, tax evasion and tax avoidance are wonderful, and we’re in power so the public good and the democratic decision to tax at any particular can whistle.

    In other words “there is no such thing as society…”

    Now where did we hear that before…?

    (clue..not in Dave’s manifesto).

  5. Kay, another quote “before the cock crows twice, you will deny me thrice…”.

    Thatcher is te Tory messiah, and she said it, she meant it and many many Tories believe it too, they just find warm words to disguise their contempt for fairness.

    On this occassion Ian was more open and honest…

    to quote “… I admire his brazen fuck you to HMRC.”

    Fair tax, fuck off….the Tory dream…

  6. You make no sense Braveheart. Thatacher never said there was no society, she said that society was made up of individual people who should be relying on themselves not on the Government.

    Also Philip Green employs large numbers of UK residents which is a huge positive. As a result his company as an employer pays for all of his employees income tax and national insurance. This is exactly what Thatcher was talking about an individual acting in his self interest with the knock on effect of helping others. He can do this because he has protected his profits from being swallowed up by HMRC

  7. @Braveheart: Its very simple – the law says you can transfer assets to your spouse, free of inheritance tax, and capital gains tax. If your spouse happens to be a foreign citizen and lives outside the UK she is not liable for UK taxation on income from said assets. If you don’t like this fact, campaign for all transfers between spouses to the liable to CGT and IHT. Don’t blame someone (however rich) for taking advantage of the law as it is decreed by Parliament (and unaltered by 13 years of Labour govt).

    I also naturally assume you pay income tax and NI taxes on your entire income and do not take advantage of the tax free allowances that the law allows you? After all, if your income is £20,000 and the tax rate is 20% you should be paying £4000 in tax, shouldn’t you? Anything less would be a ‘tax gap’.

  8. And don’t you dare take advantage of exemption from business rates when running a business from home – the so-called Council Tax Gap.

  9. “Thatcher is te Tory messiah, and she said it, she meant it”

    Perhaps you could explain what “it” is? Meant what? That “society” is a very easy thing to blame for your own failings? Yes, she meant that. Or that we as individuals owe nothing to our fellow human beings? No, she did not mean that.

    You lefties go on about the evil lies of Bush/capitalists/whatever, but you’re very happy to propagate outrageous lies yourself. You even lie to yourselves, and convince yourself that acts of wickedness (disbanding civil liberties, confiscating property, invading countries) are OK when in a good cause.

    Some of you even delude yourselves that even though the desired ‘ends’ rarely happen, the continued wicked ‘means’ are still justified because of the good intentions. Does “I did what I thought was right” ring any bells? At least “no such thing as society” doesn’t result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

  10. Braveheart said: “Tories think that rich people are perfectly right to avoid paying taxes”

    Tories think that people are perfectly right to avoid paying taxes. All people. Tax efficiency is something everyone should be encouraged to achieve. It forces the Government to be more careful with spending the revenues it can raise and be more careful with the tax legislation it writes.

    Who has been the biggest friend of the rich these last 13 years creating loophole after loophole for their chums in the finance industry and venture capital sector, changing taxation for the sake of changing it, making it ever more complicated for those at the bottom to plan their finances or afford an accountant and thereby putting all the advantages in the hands of the rich?

    Gordon Brown and the Labour party.

  11. She said

    ‘(if)………I’m homeless, the government must house me.’ They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. ”

    She said it and she means “look after No. 1”.

    The homeless..? Well who cares if they’re not your family or someone you know….

    And the theme of this thread is “..or you can send them to Monaco and give them income you have earned to offset agains UK tax. Tax which could be used to help the homeless… but then there is no such thing as society….”.

  12. Braveheart- you really don’t get it do you? Phillip Green doesn’t have the assets anymore, or the income it generates. He gave the asset away. It belongs to someone else. It could be any foreigner, it happens to be his wife. And she is not subject to UK taxation. Are you suggesting that people cannot give away their own assets and property, ever? That the State effectively owns everything, and tells people what they can and can’t do with their own property?

    And you haven’t asnswered my question about your income tax either.

  13. The interesting thing about this thread is the deserate efforts to justify a rich man dodging tax whilst also insisting that you believe in fairness.

    News, chappies: it cannot be done….

    Either you believe i fairness, and that people should pay fair taxes, or you don’t.

    Tories, by and large don’t. To wit, and in evidence: every other contributor to this thread….

  14. “Either you believe i fairness, and that people should pay fair taxes, or you don’t.”

    I believe in fairness. It’s not fair that people who have earned their money have it taken from them to be given to people who don’t deserve it. It’s not fair that working poor living in the East End pay tax so that people who refuse to work can live on welfare in the West End. It’s not fair that people who have created millions in wealth have half of it taken to be wasted on quango staff given Indian head massages and days off at the races.

    Clearly you think it is fair to do these things. And when no-ones works any more, and no-one has the ability to pay tax, you cite fairness o confiscate the property of foreigners who live abroad. You have a twisted view on what “fair” means.

  15. “Are you suggesting that people cannot give away their own assets and property, ever? That the State effectively owns everything, and tells people what they can and can’t do with their own property?”

    Of course that’s what he’s suggesting. It’s been the “fairness” theme of the last decade.

  16. Kay, this is the Daily Mail….

    “David Cameron’s Big Society grows ever larger.

    Now, it encompasses a billionaire who commutes to work by private jet from the tax haven of Monaco.

    The announcement that retail tycoon Sir Philip Green, 58 – the ninth-richest man in Britain, with an estimated fortune of £4.1 billion – is to advise the Government on how to save money has certain ironies, if not piquancy.
    Sir Philip Green with his Topshop muse Kate Moss

    Women behind his success: Sir Philip Green with his Topshop muse Kate Moss

    Not least because the Green family’s biggest saving is the elaborate mechanism by which it has avoided paying hundreds of millions of pounds to the Exchequer.

    This hinges on the tax status of Cristina ‘Tina’ Green, Sir Philip’s wife of 20 years.

    The key decision was made 12 years ago, when Green moved his home address from North London to Monte Carlo.

    Tina, the mother of his two children, became a resident of the principality and has since lived there full-time in the family’s penthouse.

    Until then, Tina had played little direct part in her husband’s business affairs. But in her new home she became – on paper, at least – all powerful.

    For while her husband remains the indisputable driving force and genius behind their High Street retail empire, his wife’s name alone is on the ownership documents.

    For example, within 24 hours of snapping up Shoe Express from Sears, ownership was passed on to Tina.

    When Green began his unsuccessful bid for Marks & Spencer in 2000, a £23 million shareholding was built up in Tina’s name.
    Cutting the cost of government: Prime Minister David Cameron talks to his new ‘efficiency tsar’ at Downing Street

    Cutting the cost of government: Prime Minister David Cameron talks to his new ‘efficiency tsar’ at Downing Street

    Two years later, he amassed a 92 per cent pre-bid stake in the Arcadia group, parent company of Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Evans and Burton.

    His £850 million offer for the firm was made using a company called Taveta Investments, majority- owned by a separate company, Taveta Limited, based in Jersey.

    The offer document said: ‘Taveta Limited is wholly owned by Philip Green’s family, who will make their investment in Taveta through Taveta Limited. The only director of Taveta Limited is Cristina Green.’

    Why? For tax reasons, it would seem.

    All OF Sir Philip’s retail businesses are controlled through Taveta Investments.

    And Taveta’ s accounts still say: ‘Lady Cristina Green and her immediate family are the company’s ultimate controlling party.’

    Sir Philip spends the weekends in Monaco and flies back to Britain to RAF Northolt every week, staying in a suite in a Mayfair hotel.

    As Sir Philip pointed out yesterday – somewhat forcefully at times – he spends enough days in Britain each year to have to pay income tax here.

    Arcadia’s accounts say its highest paid director – presumably Sir Philip – received £1.6 million.

    This suggests that while this is only a fraction of his total annual income, he will still have a six-figure UK income tax bill.”

    You justify that if you wish. I cannot and keep my integrity.

  17. War (aggression in general) is the “wrong answer” to the existential question of “how to deal with the other guy” when arises the question of dealing with another over something which both want but cannot both have simultaneously.

    Those who’ve answered “by cooperation to enlarge availability of things we both desire so that each may improve respective material conditions” have gone on to found groups ultimately recognizable as “civilization.” Those answering otherwise are dead, though taking with them many of the others in working-out of a process even yet ongoing.

    The “correct” answer to the original problem is never “settled” and “over with” but must be answered again and again, while technologic superiority of the “correct answerers” of the past has created weapons of such deadly effect that even the far-smaller proportion of “incorrect answerers” in existence today may yet bring about extinction of the entire species.

    What is almost nowhere understood is that, until there comes into existence a form of human being who, though exactly like others in other respects, both actively welcomes and desires life under the condition we call “slavery,” those people, whether under the guise of “social justice” or “equal distribution of the necessities of life” or of a “social safety net guaranteeing an adequate standard of living to all” are identical–the very same–as those who answered the existential question incorrectly in the past and those seemingly less-civilized incorrect answerers of the present who would threaten with guns and knives if given the chance–and do, where their efforts have even any chance of success. The only real difference is that our modern “wrong-answerers”
    dress and speak in more civilized fashion and are, thus, inordinately influential. Not only that but, in the past century, they’ve gained respectability for themselves and their wrong answer–and political ascendancy sufficient to keep aggression and warfare as ever-present a threat to existence as it was in the beginning.

    Braveheart, you and all like you are identical in intent to the brutes of prehistory in all except one characteristic: you have, relatively effectively, shielded yourselves from the obvious violent response merited from your intended victims and enlisted the aid of millions of co-conspiratorial thugs (and even “partial thugs”) in the guise of participants in the process of electoral politics.

    All of civilization and its technologic and spiritual flowering are the simple, nearly “inevitable” result of that original existential question and its correctly-reasoned answer. Modern society is infinitely more complex (and effective in delivering on its original promise of material improvement for all who join in forwarding its simple objectives of cooperation) but cannot force adoption of the better alternative; only a change of mind (or, possibly, of heart) can do that.

    A population of herbivores may benefit from their gene pool being thinned of its weakest members by predators But a society of producers has no such need and, alerted to the extent of predation on their productive efforts, will not continue to succumb to the steadily-increasing parasitism of their very lives. The battle is not yet joined but the sides are drawn and the outcome may be known in advance: the pro-civilization forces may not win–but the “antis” cannot possibly, as their very existence depends on those of whom they have freely chosen to make mortal enemies.

  18. Braveheart is like all his ilk. One sniff of power and he enriches himself at the expense of others. We just have to look at Lord Prescott, the self-aggrandising bully and sexual predator, to see just what the left stands for: theft motivated by jealousy.

    Anyone with intelligence and education can see that left-wing policies fail. Communism collapsed under its own brutality.

    All that we see today is people like Braveheart out to steal the property and effort of others for themselves. They try to cover this by using noble aims of helping people, but it’s pretty clear that the propel they pretend to help are oppressed, held in poverty by socialists who need these people to hold power.

  19. Kay Tie:

    Though, as a purely “practical matter,” you’re right–Braveheart is as you say, as are all the rest like him–I do not believe he is a different kind of human than you or I nor one whose mind works according to different principles. In that wise, he is not “beyond redemption” (to borrow a religious concept applicable to faith, whereas our own group is united by reason); leaving the forces of the looters and destroyers and joining that of the peaceful and productive requires nothing but a change of mind (guided by irrefutable reasoning).
    Moreover, since those who expend the effort to visit Tim’s blog and engage in written exchanges are liable not only to be of above-average intelligence but also to at least have the potential for influencing others of their persuasion should they begin to comprehend correctly, what harm can there be in submitting our “case” in a more or less dispassionate manner, as unencubered as possible by disagreements over events, statements, and other inconsequential details?

    Sooner or later, the existential question itself will be seen to be “all that matters” (and even Tim, with his assent to things like “a guaranteed base income” entitlement) will have to get on one side or the other (though I’ve no doubt whatever which that would be). And, since we’ll never be rid of ’em all, it makes a whole lot more sense to spend effort to convince ’em than to kill ’em.

    Think about it. It’s not all that different from the original question.

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