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devonwoody

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At our age the pair of us use Amazon a lot for purchases but I think there is a lot of what I call seconds being supplied to us, but being a prime customer account they do take back our undesired purchases.
 

artie

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k
you can buy adapter plates for drills etc. here are some examples

Wish I'd been able to get one of those before I dumped old drills because it was as cheap to buy new with batteries.
 

Blister

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Just had a look , Can't see one for my Bosch 18 volt drill :(
 

shed9

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BTW I love Amazon - why would I pay £10 for something in a shop where I have to pay to get the bus, take time out of my day, etc etc, when I can pay £9 and it arrives on my doorstep in 24 hours?
Why? Because there are consequences to your purchasing choices beyond what's in it for you?

I also don't buy into the idea that the tax system is flawed and it's fair game if people want to avoid it because they effectively can. If someone with more-than-enough money avoids paying into the system that supports other human beings within their own social structure, that's morally repugnant and not necessarily the fault of the tax system. Anyone who believes the system needs changing to address that situation as opposed to the individuals then you have some agency in this aspect in your own buying power.
 

Phil Pascoe

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It's a 100% the fault of the tax system (not only ours). If I bought something and the seller said do you want to pay tax on it or not, it's up to you I'd say thank you very much, I won't. Morals don't enter the equation - if it's law pay, if it's not don't. Good luck to you. Anyone is of course free to give the government as much of their own money as they wish if they feel so inclined.
 

shed9

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It's a 100% the fault of the tax system (not only ours). If I bought something and the seller said do you want to pay tax on it or not, it's up to you I'd say thank you very much, I won't. Morals don't enter the equation - if it's law pay, if it's not don't. Good luck to you. Anyone is of course free to give the government as much of their own money as they wish if they feel so inclined.
Not saying the tax system isn't flawed but that the abuse of loopholes doesn't mean the only way to fix it is to fix the system itself. You will always have loopholes, they will always be found and failing that you will have crime, whatever method people or organisations use to circumnavigate that responsibility those inclined to do it will continue to do so. Clearly the systems needs overhaul but that in itself is dictated by public pressure. If the attitude is 'why pay if you can get away with it' then we kind of deserve the system we have either way.
I don't mind paying tax, I shudder when I see how much of my money goes to the government but I also see the evidence of that tax in education, the NHS and other fundamental services. Choosing not to pay because you found a loophole, regardless of the legality of it is messed up as someone else has to pay your share. Anyone who is happy with that, good luck to you.
 

pcb1962

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It's a 100% the fault of the tax system (not only ours). If I bought something and the seller said do you want to pay tax on it or not, it's up to you I'd say thank you very much, I won't. Morals don't enter the equation - if it's law pay, if it's not don't. Good luck to you. Anyone is of course free to give the government as much of their own money as they wish if they feel so inclined.
But if instead the seller said to you "Should I lie and say that I sold it to you in Luxembourg so that you don't have to pay tax" would you still be happy to say fine, go ahead?
 

Phil Pascoe

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If he can do it legally, yes. It's up to the government to ensure he can't.
Not saying the tax system isn't flawed but that the abuse of loopholes doesn't mean the only way to fix it is to fix the system itself. You will always have loopholes...
The U.K. has 17,000 + pages of tax legislation, Hong Kong has 276. Our system is has inbuilt loopholes. If it were very much simpler it would be harder to find them.
 

shed9

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If he can do it legally, yes. It's up to the government to ensure he can't.


The U.K. has 17,000 + pages of tax legislation, Hong Kong has 276. Our system is has inbuilt loopholes. If it were very much simpler it would be harder to find them.
I agree with what you're saying, I just suspect they will still find them regardless of how much harder they are to find, the accountants finding them will just get paid more. I would wager the levels of tax avoidance is a relatively global issue irrespective of the quantity of laws.
 

billw

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I agree with what you're saying, I just suspect they will still find them regardless of how much harder they are to find, the accountants finding them will just get paid more. I would wager the levels of tax avoidance is a relatively global issue irrespective of the quantity of laws.
You have to declare whether you've found/used any loopholes these days in the UK. It doesn't stop you from doing so but it just means the tax office find out lol
 

billw

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But if instead the seller said to you "Should I lie and say that I sold it to you in Luxembourg so that you don't have to pay tax" would you still be happy to say fine, go ahead?
Well - they'd still have to pay UK VAT. Corporation tax? Well, yeah they'll benefit but if every company that has an "office" in Luxembourg actually had an office in Luxembourg the country would be one huge office park.
 

billw

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Why? Because there are consequences to your purchasing choices beyond what's in it for you?
Well OK morally I guess there are, maybe those choices exist with the same situation of buying from a small business versus a huge chain store? Shouldn't everyone "shop local" where possible?

Thing is I'm just not "morally obliged" to pay more than I can. Amazon are cheapest and can deliver? Great. Sometimes Anmazon don't sell what I need. When I bought my thicknesser recently I simply got it from whatever online tool place had the cheapest price. Maybe the owner eats puppies and I'm funding his habit? I dunno. Decent price, bought it.
 

artie

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I notice talk of loopholes, I'd be interested in a definition.

BTW I do know what you are talking about would just like an official definition.
 

akirk

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Not saying the tax system isn't flawed but that the abuse of loopholes doesn't mean the only way to fix it is to fix the system itself. You will always have loopholes, they will always be found and failing that you will have crime, whatever method people or organisations use to circumnavigate that responsibility those inclined to do it will continue to do so. Clearly the systems needs overhaul but that in itself is dictated by public pressure. If the attitude is 'why pay if you can get away with it' then we kind of deserve the system we have either way.
I don't mind paying tax, I shudder when I see how much of my money goes to the government but I also see the evidence of that tax in education, the NHS and other fundamental services. Choosing not to pay because you found a loophole, regardless of the legality of it is messed up as someone else has to pay your share. Anyone who is happy with that, good luck to you.
Society uses a lot of pejorative language - the concept of loopholes in this context is technically wrong...
Government and its agencies (HMRC etc.) set the rules or law as to who has to pay tax, and what they have to pay...
A 'loophole' is no such thing - it simply implies that those setting the rules made a mistake and someone is legally paying money as defined by the law - but with a result the law makers didn't expect... - so they are not loopholes - they are mistakes by the law makers. The definition of loophole implies an ambiguity - these 'loopholes' are not ambiguities - they are simply occasions where the law makers construct legislation without thinking through the implications, or putting themselves in the shoes of business to work out what business is likely to do...

The very notion that law makers who have the ability to set anything they like as law, make mistakes and then criticise and look to penalise those who simply obey the laws as written is itself hypocritical and morally repugnant. Amazon and equivalent are meticulous about ensuring they obey the law, but of course, like anyone else if given a choice of options and one is more financially beneficial, then they will chose that one...

I am very honest and open about taxes - they are always paid on time and accurately - personally and my businesses... but I see no reason why I would want to go out of the way to find issues with the legislation and choose to do something to pay more?! In fact, if I did do that I could be considered to be in breach of my fiducial duties as a director of the business... so in reality the only technically illegal thing Amazon directors could do would be to find ways of paying more taxes! They could be argued to be in breach of Company Law!

As mentioned above, we have complex tax legislation - if the government simplified it they would probably raise a lot more money...
 

billw

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I see where you're coming from @akirk but the loophole is usually between the spirit of the law and the application.

The issue, as someone mentioned earlier, is the sheer complexity of the tax code at present. It would be nigh on impossible for someone to validate every possible combination of tax rates/allowances/incentives/coverage/exemptions etc - much like when a drug is released to market they don't test it in real life against every other drug available - sometimes it's found that taking two drugs simultaneously has an unexpected side effect even though the intention of both drugs is to make you better.

Same as tax laws - the unexpected side effect being that some smart-arrsed accountant has figured out that if you open a subsidiary in one country, then fund it from another, claim capital allowances and contra them against an intercompany high-interest rate loan secured against future revenue streams from intellectual property that's leased from a group company at peppercorn rent, then hey presto - you pay no tax!
 

billw

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At our age the pair of us use Amazon a lot for purchases but I think there is a lot of what I call seconds being supplied to us, but being a prime customer account they do take back our undesired purchases.
Are you buying things from Amazon themselves? Or from Amazon Marketplace?
 

akirk

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I see where you're coming from @akirk but the loophole is usually between the spirit of the law and the application.

The issue, as someone mentioned earlier, is the sheer complexity of the tax code at present. It would be nigh on impossible for someone to validate every possible combination of tax rates/allowances/incentives/coverage/exemptions etc - much like when a drug is released to market they don't test it in real life against every other drug available - sometimes it's found that taking two drugs simultaneously has an unexpected side effect even though the intention of both drugs is to make you better.

Same as tax laws - the unexpected side effect being that some smart-arrsed accountant has figured out that if you open a subsidiary in one country, then fund it from another, claim capital allowances and contra them against an intercompany high-interest rate loan secured against future revenue streams from intellectual property that's leased from a group company at peppercorn rent, then hey presto - you pay no tax!
I get it when people say that, but isn’t it a bit of an excuse? if there is a difference between the spirit of the law and the reality, then simply put, the law makers have messed up!

I object to:
- law makers (who have the power to write any law they want) messing up what they write
- companies observe the law correctly
- law makers complain about the companies doing it legally and somehow make them out to be ‘illegal’ or ‘dodgy’ when basically they got it wrong

it is hypocritical and typical of a society where those in power mess up and are not prepared to take responsibility for their own actions...

vat is a good example of a tax that is fairly simple in its remit and action, and which is generally correctly paid - income tax for online businesses could easily be split to pre and post allowances, ie leave the current situation but also put x% tax on turnover etc... (which is effectively happening now)...

and many many other options which would stop Amazon etc.
 

profchris

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Same as tax laws - the unexpected side effect being that some smart-arrsed accountant has figured out that if you open a subsidiary in one country, then fund it from another, claim capital allowances and contra them against an intercompany high-interest rate loan secured against future revenue streams from intellectual property that's leased from a group company at peppercorn rent, then hey presto - you pay no tax!
Amazon's corporate tax payments aren't an unexpected side effect. They are exactly what nations intended when they agreed the international tax law system. They agreed this because they didn't expect any significant cross border selling to consumers. Oops!

Now the loser countries want to change the system, while the winners want to keep it. The problem is an international political problem, not a tax law problem. Just for example, if the UK changes its tax law the US is likely to withdraw from free trade treaty discussions.

If you want to blame someone, blame the US government. For years a lunatic tax law penalised US companies from repatriating foreign profits, so they set up offshore companies to keep those profits from penal taxation. Then the US changed the law, loved the extra tax, and now don't want to give it up. It's everybody's fault (20 years from the first attempt at tax reform for online and agreement is no nearer), but more the US than anyone else.
 
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