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Old 01-18-2013, 07:25 AM   #106
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The thought-terminating cliché. And nobody is responsible for nothing.
It's really not a cliché to say that very few of us would voluntarily pay more tax that the law requires us to. And that's just as true for Amazon as it is for us.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:27 AM   #107
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Amazon legally pays as much tax as they are required to and Amazon customers benefit through lower prices --- everybody wins except some overpaid bureaucrats. More power to Amazon.

People pay way too much taxes in Europe already.

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Old 01-18-2013, 07:39 AM   #108
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It's really not a cliché to say that very few of us would voluntarily pay more tax that the law requires us to. And that's just as true for Amazon as it is for us.
That is not what I was saying, Harry. What I am tired of is when companies are hiding behind their investors/shareholders and everyone takes this for granted.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:45 AM   #109
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That is not what I was saying, Harry. What I am tired of is when companies are hiding behind their investors/shareholders and everyone takes this for granted.
A company does have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of its shareholders - that's a simple fact. It could certainly be argued that paying more tax than it needs to is not acting in the best interests of its shareholders.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:56 AM   #110
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The thought-terminating cliché. And nobody is responsible for nothing.


I didn't do it! Wasn't me!
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:22 AM   #111
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That is not what I was saying, Harry. What I am tired of is when companies are hiding behind their investors/shareholders and everyone takes this for granted.
Hiding behind?? Investors/shareholders should be by far the most important stakeholders for every company. They are the reason the company exists in the first place.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:24 AM   #112
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Hiding behind?? Investors/shareholders should be by far the most important stakeholders for every company. They are the reason the company exists in the first place.
They're keeping B&N afloat, for one, because *their* customers and defenders sure aren't.
In many cases, the shareholder are the people who founded/built the business in the first place.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:33 AM   #113
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Amazon legally pays as much tax as they are required to and Amazon customers benefit through lower prices --- everybody wins except some overpaid bureaucrats. More power to Amazon.

People pay way to much taxes in Europe already.
Well I don't think everyone wins amazon will destroy most other retail and online business then will charge what ever it wants from the buyers as well as force discount in the sellers.
Its something most amazon investors think going to happen one of the reason its is valued so highly despite miniscule profits. Personally I think Bezos is taking the investors for a ride but he won't live for ever.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:34 AM   #114
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Well, actually...
Yes, they do something very similar.
They set up a company called 'Amazon Europe Holding Technologies', as a type of Luxembourg company that is free from taxes.
I wasn't aware Amazon did the same, although I'm not really surprised by it.

I think those kind of setups need investigating and laws adjusted depending on whether the practice should be allowed or not.

Either way, the news reports linked in the original post still seem to be distorting the facts. By discussing and highlighting VAT as though amazon are charging 20% and only paying 3% which isn't the case. They charge their customers 3% and pay 3% (well did) and I don't see how that makes Amazon/any other company immoral as another poster stated.

It would have been more interesting and accurate had they reported what you've said for company setup and how companies are using it to pay their taxes in countries with the lowest tax rate. That would likely have been a more boring headline and discussion though
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:47 AM   #115
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Well I don't think everyone wins amazon will destroy most other retail and online business then will charge what ever it wants from the buyers as well as force discount in the sellers.
Its something most amazon investors think going to happen one of the reason its is valued so highly despite miniscule profits. Personally I think Bezos is taking the investors for a ride but he won't live for ever.
They will never be the only retailer and they will never be able to make monopoly prices. The Fugger days are over, if they even tried that there would be new competitors coming up in a flash.

My point is that a government that charges a 20% sales tax is immoral -- and a company that helps its customers to pay less is certainly doing a good thing. They did not charge 20% and pay 3%, THAT would be immoral.

Now that doesn't mean that everything else Amazon does is "good".
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:47 AM   #116
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A company does have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of its shareholders - that's a simple fact.
Is it? It should act in its own best interest, then the shareholders (normally) will be happy too. And the interests of a company and its shareholders may even be contradicting and that's totally legal too.

Quote:
It could certainly be argued that paying more tax than it needs to is not acting in the best interests of its shareholders.
No one wants them to pay more taxes than they need but you British don't have any reason to be angry if they would pay as many taxes as they need.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:58 AM   #117
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Is it? It should act in its own best interest, then the shareholders (normally) will be happy too. And the interests of a company and its shareholders may even be contradicting and that's totally legal too.
Of course it is legal for the company's management not to act in the best interests of its shareholders. And then they will be voted out at the next shareholders' meeting. Would you deposit your money at a bank that says "we don't pay any interest but will deduct 1% from your deposit every month"?

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Old 01-18-2013, 09:22 AM   #118
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The thought-terminating cliché. And nobody is responsible for nothing.
Not at all. Governments are responsible for passing laws that have the effects they intend.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:37 AM   #119
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Taxation: VAT on electronic books in France and LUXEMBOURG

The European Commission is asking France and Luxembourg to amend their VAT rates on electronic books (e-books).

Since 1 January 2012, France and Luxembourg have applied a reduced rate of VAT to e-books, which is incompatible with the current rules under the VAT Directive. Under the Directive, e-books constitute electronically supplied services, and application of a reduced rate to this type of services is excluded.

This situation is creating a serious distortion of competition to the disadvantage of operators in the 25 other Member States of the Union, as e-books can be easily purchased in a Member State other than that in which the consumer is resident, and current rules provide for application of the VAT rate in the Member State of the provider rather than that of the customer. The Commission has received complaints from a number of Ministers of Finance highlighting the negative effect on book sales in their domestic markets.
As an almost unconnected aside, does this mean that France and Luxembourg no longer consider e-books being services, but want to treat them like *gasp* books? And would that revert the point of sale for e-books to the location of the seller instead of the location of the buyer, just like for paper books?
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:44 AM   #120
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As an almost unconnected aside, does this mean that France and Luxembourg no longer consider e-books being services, but want to treat them like *gasp* books? And would that revert the point of sale for e-books to the location of the seller instead of the location of the buyer, just like for paper books?
Entirely separate issues. In fact, for electronic goods, the point of sale for VAT purposes in the EU is changing (in 2015 I think) to the customer's location, not the seller's.

But it is true that the EU is discussing changes to the classification of ebooks under VAT regulations to make their VAT rate match that on paper books.
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