This is interesting from Polly

We should know what tax is paid on profits from our purchases at Amazon, Boots or Philip Green\’s Top Shop.

We do. There\’s a line in their published accounts that says \”tax paid\”.

Last time I looked at the Top Shop ones it was 30% or so of profits. Bang on the statutory rate.

This is even better though:

Personal statement, to get in early: I have always advocated total tax transparency, and like George Monbiot, I am open about my own earnings: I was even asked about it by a parliamentary select committee so it’s on the record. Last year my Guardian pay was around £115,000. I have never had any kind of company, and I have always paid PAYE as an employee. I would welcome all journalists agreeing to transparency, especially those writing about the earnings of others.

This is a comment at the end of a piece in which she tells us that she\’s recently published a book with her husband.

Note that the income from that book is not included in her declaration of income. Nor are her speaking fees from the BBC (look, if they even pay me £50 for 10 minutes on a local radio station then she\’s obviously getting something close to a decent income from them alone the amount of times she\’s on).

Etc, etc. She\’s declared her salary but not her income. And of course she doesn\’t pay PAYE on book earnings, BBC earnings etc either.

One rule etc.


16 thoughts on “This is interesting from Polly”

  1. Odd that Polly would have thought that just declaring her Guardian salary and the fact she is on PAYE was “full disclosure”.

    George Osborne’s recent claim that he wasn’t a 50p tax payer resulted in reams of media speculation (including in the Guardian) as to all his other sources of income and tax breaks he may have been using to reduce income.

    So if “multi millionaire” George Osborne can’t get away with saying that “I get 135k as chancellor and MP and am on PAYE” why does multi millionaire Polly T think she can do likewise ?

    Any idea how much a Tuscan villa rents out for per week in high season these days ?

  2. Hubby was on a £250K p.a. screw from a quango while her £100+K was subsidised for years by public sector advertising. What’s that, £2M+ from the taxpayer during New Labour’s rule?

  3. Polly’s columns earn her £ 2211 every week. Is that one or two ? Either way, not a bad rate for her dribblings. She is doing a Ken, releasing PARTIAL info dressed up as FULL disclosure.

    But then, she’s a lefty, so that’s all right.

    Alan Douglas

  4. Maybe if there was some standardised format? Oh look there is – the tax return.
    Can black out personal information like address, date of birth etc while leaving all figures in.

    Then we can compare the chancellor, a journalist (using the term loosely), a mayoral candidate. On declared income anyway.

  5. Top Shop is a brand not a company. The company is Arcadia Group Ltd, and it showed a 17% tax charge in its latest filed accounts at Companies House. The previous year’s charge was 4%. How old were the accounts that Tim has allegedly looked at?

    Please note that company accounts never show “tax paid” : they are prepared on an accruals basis and show tax charged.

  6. Pechorin

    The actual tax paid in a given year is usually shown in the cash flow statement – however it is a meaningless figure unless you know what profits it relates to etc.

  7. I hope she’ll also show how much she’s inherited and how well that did from cunning use of Trusts and other tax planning. Ditto how her own wealth is disposed of to avoid Inheritance Tax.

  8. “Maybe if there was some standardised format? Oh look there is – the tax return.”

    For companies (but not yet charities) it’s actually XBRL (iXBRL), and good luck with that. There are many dozen possible tags and categories, just for tax: many thousands of tags overall. Mine uses uk-gaap:TaxOnProfitOrLossOnOrdinaryActivities, and
    uk-gaap:UKCurrentCorporationTaxOnIncomeForPeriod for the “current year” dimension. (Mind the structure of the hypercubes!)

  9. Thinking about that, you would probably not use the accounts section, but just the A and C sections of the XBRL Computations, which would give you all you’d need for rabble-rousing.

  10. Less off-topic: I find this sudden obsession in the press with “tax paid on profits from our purchases” rather disturbing. It ignores the fact that purchases (even from Amazon) already carry a non-trivial load (20%) of tax as VAT, usually paid out of personal income that has been subject to hair-raising levels of personal taxation. Also, I certainly never thought that by buying something I was mainly setting out to contribute to the tax regime, nor did I ever think of company tax as actually applying to a company (since one way or another, they’ll pass it on to me, surely).

  11. CHF

    That is all we are now for some. Contributors to the tax take.

    If you think we should be more than that, then you must be an evil (you know, the baby-eating thing)…..

  12. She popped up in the comments replying to some people, but curiously omitting to answer these questions that have been asked several times.

  13. Haha! love the sound and resultant hypocrisy of the Pandora’s Box being opened by these lovely journalists, when it turns out to have teeth which will rend them in their turn. Forgive mixed metaphors.

  14. Polly’s got to be very careful how she plays this.
    If she has always asked for and got a tax receipt for maintainance on the Tuscan latifundia then she’s not only a sanctimonious creep but a blithering idiot.

  15. Pechorin (#5), Top Shop is indeed part of the Arcadia Group, but that doesn’t stop it being a separate Top Shop subsidiary company that filing its own accounts.

    I don’t know if it is, but a squint at the Companies Register shows:
    – “Top Shop / Top Man Ltd”,
    – “Top Shop (UK) Ltd” (although that seems to have classed itself as a corner shop), and
    – “The Top Shop Ltd” (dissolved last November, which could be a group re-organisation).

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