Facebook practices tax avoidance in the UK while all ordinary law abiding individuals feel the impact in one way or another of “austerity”, yet another corporate giant decides it’s just fine to pay only a minute amount of tax to the UK.
Whatever your views on this, Facebook now join a growing list of corporate entities who assure us they are adhering to the letter of the law and paying all the taxes due. I think we all know that making numbers say precisely what you want them to say is something that corporations can work to a fine art. Trust in the UK tax system to be fair and equitable across the board must now be in serious doubt. These announcements are almost becoming the norm and still no real ACTION by Government to stop it dead.
The bigger element for all of us normal law abiding citizens in the UK is that where we work hard to stay within the laws we are still pretty much “hounded” for every penny. Each year I complete my own returns as best I can. I have no particularly complicated affairs, but boy oh boy HMRC diligently pursue me after the numbers are in. They go back now and again and check over bits and come up with the “balancing” statement. Digging into this can be torture. The end result – a snippet below for the amount I was “chased” for, regardless of it being a small amount, it was still chased for payment, not carried over, no chased. At least 2 letters after which I eventually put a cheque in the post. The total cost of reminders and payment processing through cheque must have been triple the amount owed at least. The statement even stated it would simply be carried over but no, the demand kept coming despite a phone call or two as well !!
So when the corporate organisation manages to avoid paying taxes on what seems to be significant income and then the politicians wonder why we all get upset, perhaps the snippet above shouts loud enough !