Tax is a matter of the law, isn\’t it?

The company, whose chief executive Terry Smith is one of the City’s most outspoken figures, is deferring bonuses for just over 20 staff so that any income over £150,000 is taxed at 45pc rather than the current 50pc rate.

Tullett also signalled it would have no truck with any government interference over the move, hinting it did not expect any re-runs of the furore over bankers’ bonuses or the UK tax paid by the likes of Amazon and Starbucks.

“The company believes that taxation should be a matter of law not moral suasion and/or public persecution,”

Changing your behaviour as a result of changes in hte tax law is not tax abuse. It is obeying the tax laws.

18 thoughts on “Tax is a matter of the law, isn\’t it?”

  1. Tullett are doing the same thing as every other bank (except possibly the state-owned ones, haven’t checked) but because Terry Smith is fervently right-wing even by City of London standards, he’s decided to dress it up as a principled statement and cast himself in the role of martyr.

    One can only assume he’s auditioning for a retirement position as grandee in whatever emerges on the right after Labour win the next election (whether that’s a Tory party purged of Cameroonians, or a UKIP 2.0 stuffed with Tory deserters).

  2. What is right wing or martyrish about saying to politicians, this is the law, you made it, we’re obeying it, now fuck off out of our lives?

  3. Odd thing is that as most City bonuses have to be deferred for three years anyway then the bonuses being paid today (or rather on April 6th) were earned 3-4 years ago.

    When the top tax rate was 40%.

  4. Good for him.

    The government willingly admits to using the tax law to influence our behaviour. It’s why certain things are zero-rated for VAT, whilst fags ‘n’ booze attract swingeing duty.

    So everyone actually accepts that the tax law alters how people behave. Everything else is just haggling over the price.

    (or, in other words, until Ritchie starts arguing for fags ‘n’ booze to be duty free he can f*** off with his tax avoidance sctick.)

  5. ….So everyone actually accepts that the tax law alters how people behave…..

    I wonder if Richie thinks that turning off the lights is tax avoidance?

    If we had a widely based carbon tax, would we have to fry the globe on purpose

  6. Interested: because everyone else is doing the same thing as Tullett, without issuing press releases petulantly tilting against (metaphorical, although I’m sure Terry hates the real ones too) windmills.

    It’s as if I were to do my tax return, claim my professional training fees as expenses (as everyone else in my industry does, because that’s what the law says we can do), and then issue a press release saying “NOBODY IS GOING TO STOP ME CLAIMING MY TRAINING FEES AS EXPENSES. FREEDOM!”.

  7. Perhaps he’s getting his retaliation in first?

    I know I would given the current sanctimonious political and moral climate.

  8. I wonder if Richie thinks that turning off the lights is tax avoidance?

    Oh, probably. Along with:

    – making your own sandwiches to avoid VAT
    – buying beer at the supermarket rather than the pub
    – getting married.

    He must hate Jaffa Cakes.

  9. sam: I am almost certain that, if Murphy countenances the idea of buying beer anywhere, he will think it better bought at pubs. I’ll bet he’s a minimum pricing fanatic.

  10. @john b: you might feel like making a sing and dance about your right to pay less tax by arranging your tax affairs in accordance with the law if some of your colleagues had been getting a similar public shaming campaign about their tax affairs to the one thats going on with regard to various multinational companies at the moment. You just might feel that making a point was called for, as it might be you next being made an example of by some hypocritical politician.

  11. In yet another nobody is motivated by tax rates news item, the golfer Phil Mickelson is considering his options:-

    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/why-is-pro-golfer-phil-mickelson-considering-leaving-the-usa?f=news

    “In November, California voters approved Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, which raised taxes on all state residents who earn more than $1 million in annual income. California now has the highest state income tax rate in the nation. Earlier this month, as part of a deal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff,” Congress allowed Bush-era income tax cuts to expire for upper-income Americans.”

  12. john b

    In a climate where companies are being attacked for obeying the law, I am glad someone is putting in a pre-emptive strike.

    Without the incredulous, did you know that…. his enemies have far less ammunition.

  13. JohnB, bollocks. He’s saying this publicly because of the lies, misinformation and blather press released daily by your fellow travellers on the left.

    If you cunts shut up with your stupid bullshit, I suspect he’d have better things to do.

  14. Nice of someone to stand up and say what they are doing – LEGALLY!
    Poloticians and the media can whitter on about avoidance and evasion but will any of that stand up in court? Will HMRC win a case over such matters?

    We’ve already told the world not to invest in Britain as we have a Moral Tax payable by all companies who do not pay whatever tax the media and tax illiterates think should be paid.

  15. Anyone who is so disliked by John B gets my automatic support. Wow – it is so bad to be right wing, isn’t it.

    Let us just remind ourselves that left wing governments have killed many more people than any right wing ones. And of course Nazi Germany is left wing by any sane definition.

  16. “he’s decided to dress it up as a principled statement and cast himself in the role of martyr.”

    Am I reading the Graun?

  17. There have been a handful of CEOs that my bosses would not allow me to meet such as Robert Maxwell, even before he bought the Daily Mirror, and several others that they thought were crooks but did not want to pay for libel lawyers if I pointed out that they were. Terry Smith is the exception: they thought I might get into a fight.
    Terry is quite right and may be alone in saying this but is far from alone in acting to reduce tax paid by employees and shareholders. IF the government *really* wanted to eliminate tax dodging through deferments it should have ordered HMRC to monitor every bonus paid or payable. I bet HMRC said that was too much like hard work.

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