Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > General Discussions

Notices

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-17-2013, 12:02 PM   #1
Rizla
Wizard
Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Rizla's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,767
Karma: 4155921
Join Date: Nov 2010
Device: PRS-650 / Cybook Opus / Nook STR (rooted)
Amazon and Tax-Avoidance: Is it immoral to buy amazon?

I meant to change the title to Amazon and Tax-Avoidance: Is it Immoral? Too late now, I think.

Amazon's billion-dollar tax shield

Amazon accused of using tax loophole

Quote:
Amazon's Luxembourg arrangements have deprived European governments of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax...accounts filed by 25 Amazon units in six countries shows how they also allowed the company to avoid paying more tax in the United States..

In effect, Amazon used inter-company payments to form a tax shield for the group, behind which it has accumulated $2 billion to help finance its expansion.
Amazon and tax-avoidance. It's legal, but is it moral? Should we be buying goods from a company that is profiting from tax-avoidance to the tune of $2,000,000,000? I pay my taxes. Why isn't Amazon?

Last edited by Rizla; 01-17-2013 at 12:06 PM.
Rizla is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:04 PM   #2
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 63,223
Karma: 41342835
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, Onyx T68, N7,
If you don't like it, campaign for the law to be changed. You can hardly blame Amazon for employing entirely legal methods to minimise their tax bill. That's what they employ accountants for. Heck, that's what I employ an accountant for!
HarryT is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:13 PM   #3
Rizla
Wizard
Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Rizla's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,767
Karma: 4155921
Join Date: Nov 2010
Device: PRS-650 / Cybook Opus / Nook STR (rooted)
Indeed, our governments should put a stop to it. But do you think it's moral?
Rizla is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:14 PM   #4
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 63,223
Karma: 41342835
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, Onyx T68, N7,
I think it's neither moral nor immoral. They are obeying the law, and that's as far as it goes. We all pay the taxes that the law requires us to; few of us would volunteer to pay more.
HarryT is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:18 PM   #5
jgaiser
Omnivorous
jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
jgaiser's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,982
Karma: 20846667
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Rural NW Oregon
Device: Kindle Fire HD, Kindle GDX, Kindle 3, KPW, Nook HD+
You bet Harry. As a semi-retired private citizen, I use *every* little thing I can do to reduce my tax burden. I don't consider that immoral and neither do I consider Amazon to be immoral.
jgaiser is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:22 PM   #6
Rizla
Wizard
Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Rizla's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,767
Karma: 4155921
Join Date: Nov 2010
Device: PRS-650 / Cybook Opus / Nook STR (rooted)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I think it's neither moral nor immoral. They are obeying the law, and that's as far as it goes. We all pay the taxes that the law requires us to; few of us would volunteer to pay more.
So do you agree with a practice which you acknowledge is amoral? Which is to say without morals?

IMO a large company paying a reasonable level of taxation in a democracy is a moral practice. Those taxes contribute to the general health of the democracy.

Last edited by Rizla; 01-17-2013 at 12:28 PM.
Rizla is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:25 PM   #7
Rizla
Wizard
Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Rizla's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,767
Karma: 4155921
Join Date: Nov 2010
Device: PRS-650 / Cybook Opus / Nook STR (rooted)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgaiser View Post
You bet Harry. As a semi-retired private citizen, I use *every* little thing I can do to reduce my tax burden. I don't consider that immoral and neither do I consider Amazon to be immoral.
Presumably you saved a lot less than Amazon. In the real world that makes a difference.
Rizla is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:25 PM   #8
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 63,223
Karma: 41342835
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, Onyx T68, N7,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
So do you are agree with a practice which you acknowledge is amoral? Which is to say without morals?
When I drive at 30MPH in a 30MPH zone I don't consider the moral implications of doing so - I simply obey the law. When I pay the taxes that my accountant tells me I need to, and no more, I don't consider the moral implications of that - I simply obey the law. The law is the law. I'll leave the morals to the theologians.
HarryT is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:28 PM   #9
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 63,223
Karma: 41342835
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, Onyx T68, N7,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
Presumably you saved a lot less than Amazon. In the real world that makes a difference.
Do YOU voluntarily pay more tax than the law requires you to, Rizla? If (as I suspect) you don't, you're hardly in a position to criticize Amazon for doing the same!
HarryT is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:29 PM   #10
pdurrant
The Grand Mouse
pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
pdurrant's Avatar
 
Posts: 31,455
Karma: 87141754
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Norfolk, England
Device: NOOK ST GlowLight
The EU VAT situation is entirely a thing of the various EU governments' own making.

They introduced a law saying the non-EU companies selling electronic goods into the EU must collect and pay VAT on the goods.

But then they don't say that for inter-EU sales, companies must collect and pay VAT based on the customers' home address.

This naturally leads companies to set up in the EU country with the lowest VAT rates on the electronic goods they want to sell. In the case of Amazon and ebooks, that's Luxembourg, with 3%.


As for multi-national companies setting up subsidiaries in low-tax countries and using complicated licensing deals to avoid paying tax on profit in the countries in which it's earned: Any government could stop, or at least minimise this, by introducing a law that says that multinational subsidiaries must pay a minimum percentage of revenue, or the tax rate percentage on profit, whichever is higher.

But it's not immoral to buy from companies that take advantage of these problems with tax law.
pdurrant is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:31 PM   #11
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 63,223
Karma: 41342835
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, Onyx T68, N7,
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
But it's not immoral to buy from companies that take advantage of these problems with tax law.
And it should be noted that when Luxembourg lowered their VAT rate on ebooks, the price of most ebooks at Amazon UK fell.
HarryT is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:31 PM   #12
JoeD
Guru
JoeD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JoeD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JoeD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JoeD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JoeD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JoeD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JoeD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JoeD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JoeD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JoeD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JoeD ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 883
Karma: 4235574
Join Date: Nov 2007
Device: Hanlin v3, iPad, Kindle 4NT
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
If you don't like it, campaign for the law to be changed. You can hardly blame Amazon for employing entirely legal methods to minimise their tax bill. That's what they employ accountants for. Heck, that's what I employ an accountant for!
That's exactly what I thought when the stink started in the national papers. Companies just like individuals will do what they can to lower their taxable income. I see no problem with that as long as the actions they take are legal.

Also, afaik any "scheme" that is used to lower a companies taxable income has to be declared to HMRC (I believe it's them and I'm not certain of the specifics, just remember reading about it when there was a stink about a scheme a few years back). In which case they can adjust laws if they believe a currently legal avoidance scheme should be made illegal.

Laws just need to catch up to the digital way of doing things.

Now if Amazon were found to be evading tax, that's a different matter.

Is it really any more immoral than those of us who bought ebooks and other digital items from a country with a lower VAT rate than the UKs VAT rate to save ourselves some money? If the public or governments want to collect VAT on anything customers living in _their_ country buy, then the EU needs to change their laws accordingly (I believe something like that is in the works too).

I don't think morality really comes into this discussion (unlike a discussion of say fair trade where I can see morality playing a part).

Last edited by JoeD; 01-17-2013 at 12:35 PM.
JoeD is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:33 PM   #13
Lemurion
eReader
Lemurion ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lemurion ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lemurion ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lemurion ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lemurion ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lemurion ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lemurion ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lemurion ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lemurion ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lemurion ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Lemurion ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Lemurion's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,579
Karma: 4341624
Join Date: Aug 2007
Device: iPhone 3GS; Kindle 4 (Black); Nook HD+
Tax Avoidance is not Tax Evasion.

Not everything is a moral question.
Lemurion is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:34 PM   #14
Rizla
Wizard
Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Rizla's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,767
Karma: 4155921
Join Date: Nov 2010
Device: PRS-650 / Cybook Opus / Nook STR (rooted)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
When I drive at 30MPH in a 30MPH zone I don't consider the moral implications of doing so - I simply obey the law. When I pay the taxes that my accountant tells me I need to, and no more, I don't consider the moral implications of that - I simply obey the law. The law is the law. I'll leave the morals to the theologians.
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.
Rizla is offline  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:38 PM   #15
Rizla
Wizard
Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Rizla ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Rizla's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,767
Karma: 4155921
Join Date: Nov 2010
Device: PRS-650 / Cybook Opus / Nook STR (rooted)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Do YOU voluntarily pay more tax than the law requires you to, Rizla? If (as I suspect) you don't, you're hardly in a position to criticize Amazon for doing the same!
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.
Rizla is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Amazon and the sales tax question scrapking General Discussions 45 10-15-2012 09:39 AM
Tax: Amazon vs. Smashwords BryanThomas Writers' Corner 2 04-02-2012 02:23 PM
CA group boycotts Amazon over tax issue L.J. Sellers News 41 08-18-2011 04:00 PM
A guide to why Amazon is losing the tax battle L.J. Sellers News 10 07-06-2011 06:15 PM
When did Amazon start charging sales tax? jswinden Amazon Kindle 16 08-04-2010 09:51 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:24 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.