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Old 01-17-2013, 01:39 PM   #16
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I drive at or below the speed-limit for fear that a child or animal may step into the path of my vehicle. For me, it is a very moral issue. Morals for me has little to do with theologians. It is all about a desire to respect others.
But do you voluntarily pay more tax than the law requires? Don't you think you're acting immorally by not doing so? You say that Amazon are, so why aren't you?
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:45 PM   #17
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No, I don't. But I don't avoid more tax than the guy next to me who is also making a living. We both contribute to society. We play by the same set of rules. Amazon is not doing that. They are avoiding more tax than other comparable companies.
Do you take expenses into account when you calculate your taxable income? Would you see it as immoral to do so if another worker doesn't have any expenses that can be treated as tax deductible in the line of work they're in?

By deducting your expenses are you not avoiding paying more tax than the other person is?
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:45 PM   #18
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But do you voluntarily pay more tax than the law requires? Don't you think you're acting immorally by not doing so? You say that Amazon are, so why aren't you?
See my previous post. The issue is not that Amazon are avoiding tax, it is that they are avoiding a lot more tax than other comparable companies.

Exploiting loop-holes to avoid tax is not illegal as it observes the letter of the law. But it ignores the spirit of the law, and in this case, on a 2 billion dollar scale. Surely that is wrong.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:48 PM   #19
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No, I don't. But I don't avoid more tax than the guy next to me who is also making a living. We both contribute to society. We play by the same set of rules. Amazon is not doing that. They are avoiding more tax than other comparable companies.
Amazon is playing by the rules set up by the various governments of the countries that they do business in. If you have a problem with them following the law, you need to take it up with your representative. If they are not breaking the law, then I don't have a problem with it.

In fact, because of this thread, I just went and bought an ebook from Amazon.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:49 PM   #20
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I don't think they should be able to avoid collecting sales taxes, but that would require a change in the law. Amazon is hardly the only on-line retailer that doesn't collect sales taxes, so it doesn't seem fair to single them out. You're supposed to pay the sales tax yourself for on-line purchases, but few people do. Rather than rail on Amazon for not doing what the law does not require them to do, it may be more effective to call for a change in the law. I think if you believe in small government, you should pay for small government, and sales taxes are how that is paid for. I think not having to collect sales taxes gives on-line retailers an unfair advantage, but again, the solution is to change the law.

Here's a couple links to help you contact your Representative or Senators if you want to lobby them to change the law. (Or. I suppose, to lobby them to keep the law as it is)

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

http://www.senate.gov/general/contac...nators_cfm.cfm
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:49 PM   #21
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Do you take expenses into account when you calculate your taxable income? Would you see it as immoral to do so if another worker doesn't have any expenses that can be treated as tax deductible in the line of work they're in?

By deducting your expenses are you not avoiding paying more tax than the other person is?
I'm not avoiding two billion dollars worth of tax.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:51 PM   #22
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We don't write the laws. There are people who do. Contact them.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:51 PM   #23
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As Paul explained, they are acting entirely legally by choosing to operate in the EU country with the lowest VAT rate. If you feel that's wrong, then the wrongness lies with EU tax law, not with those who obey it. It's no different from the fact that over half the "Fortune 500" companies in the US are incorporated in the state of Delaware, for precisely the same reason: they pay less tax that way, because Delaware has more favourable tax laws.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:51 PM   #24
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I don't think they should be able to avoid collecting sales taxes, but that would require a change in the law. Amazon is hardly the only on-line retailer that doesn't collect sales taxes, so it doesn't seem fair to single them out.
I agree with you, except that this is mobileread.com, and e-books are the focus of this forum. So no, I think it's fine to single out Amazon within the context of this board.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:51 PM   #25
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I also don't see how it's a VAT loophole.

Amazon DO NOT charge 20% VAT and then only pay 3%, if they did I'd imagine they'd be under criminal investigation. They charge 3% and pay 3%.

The purchase price they negotiated with supplies is totally different. Suppliers to amazon shouldn't need to consider what the VAT rate that amazon charge is. That's between Amazon and the point of sale.

Last edited by JoeD; 01-17-2013 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:52 PM   #26
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I agree with you, except that this is mobileread.com, and e-books are the focus of this forum. So no, I think it's fine to single out Amazon within the context of this board.
Amazon's not the only on-line e-book retailer out there.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:53 PM   #27
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I'm not avoiding two billion dollars worth of tax.
So it's moral to do it on a small scale and immoral to do it on a large scale?
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:54 PM   #28
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I'm not avoiding two billion dollars worth of tax.
So, it is only immoral to avoid taxes on a large scale. The small amount you avoid is ok? If the 100 million people that pay income taxes here all did like you it would amount to big bucks.

Face it, you are no better than Amazon. You take all of the legal deductions that you are entitled to and don't pay anything extra. The only difference between you and Amazon is the scale. Quite frankly, you are a hypocrite.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:56 PM   #29
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As Paul explained, they are acting entirely legally by choosing to operate in the EU country with the lowest VAT rate. If you feel that's wrong, then the wrongness lies with EU tax law, not with those who obey it.
Well actually the problem isn't the tax law, it is that Luxembourg are not abiding by the tax law. They are not allowed to operate the 3% tax rate on eBooks.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:00 PM   #30
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They are avoiding more tax than other comparable companies.
I suspect other comparable companies avoid tax to a similar degree. I know Starbucks avoid paying a lot of tax. IIRC, they've paid no tax in the UK in the past 10 or so years because their UK operation has always made a loss. They do declare profit, and pay tax, elsewhere (Switzerland I think).
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