Lewes Forum thread

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are we all in this together?

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On 13 Mar 2013 at 4:37pm bastian wrote:
News has reached me that Santon, like many developers keep their money off shore. This is not unusual, and is generally accepted by our right wing business leaders in power. Odd how if we, the ordinairy fellow, were to do the same thing and be naughty about paying our tax, we would end up in court/prison. Why is this a local issue I hear you ask?
Well, if Santon are charging £495K a quatre to the businesses on the North st industrial estate ( which they only own via a loan from a parent company, MAS thus off shore) why aren't they paying UK tax on that rent; and more worryingly, why has our so called elected district council been doing business with a company that has not been up front with the electorate about its tax arrangements. In bed and cosy I think, LDC and Santon, all snuggled up...however, there is something that the council needs to remember; In our interests as voters ( presumabley some of you voted for this tory bunch) they are supposed to carry out something called "Due Dilligence" which is a study into the background of who they are dealing with. If the company is above board then it's OK, if they are not then in the public interest, they are not supposed to deal with them and find a more suitable company. Remember, the money they use for planning is not theirs to decide with, it's yours and mine. Either this council has looked at due dilligence and approved by ignoring the off shore tax in order to push the developement through , which makes a mockery of the whole planning laws, or they haven't bothered with the paper work at all which is highly questionable. please could a member of the council answer whether the correct proceedure has been follwed or whether it has been missed out in haste.
Any one else can just rant on as usual about how this is just how business works these days and get used to it. Corruption is becoming inbedded in all areas of political life and it does affect us on a local level.
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On 13 Mar 2013 at 4:45pm Tosh wrote:
What utter tosh! (As usual) Stanton like any corporation are free to keep their money where they like, there is no onus for Due Diligence on the council and if you are that concerned about tax why don't you write to HMRC and report them?
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On 13 Mar 2013 at 5:02pm Ed Can Do wrote:
If you were to do the same thing, Bastian, you wouldn't end up in court or jail at all, whatever gave you that idea. There is nothing to stop you from forming Bastian Holdings Ltd in Jersey then Bastian Ltd in the UK, owning property in the holding company, loaning said property to Bastian Ltd and then paying the rent up the line in the form of loan repayments.

Except that to get at the money, you'd have to pay it to yourself at some point. You could draw a wage from either company but as (I assume) you live in the UK that'd be taxed as UK income and you 'd pay income tax same as if you were working in a shop here. You could pay yourself a dividend out of either company but again, you're a UK resident so you pay tax on that. Admittedly less than if it were wages but you're still paying tax. You could publically list your company, sell shares in it and dilute the earnings potential then persuade the sharehloders to let you issue shares to yourself as payment but still, when you come to sell those, you pay capital gains tax at UK rates.

And that's how tax works. If you live in the UK (For more than a couple of months a year) you pay tax when you get money. Yes, corporations can swerve corporation tax by basing themselves off-shore but when the owners and directors of that company want to spend the money, they pay tax on it. The only foolproof way to avoid paying UK tax is to leave the UK.

Now to be fair, a lot of rich people do that and they base themselves in Monaco or Switzerland, places with a very low rate of personal income tax but they do still pay tax. Now the argument against taxing the super-rich until they bleed is that these are the kind of people who can afford to move to Monaco. Modern technology means these people can handle their business from any geographical location in the world, they don't need to be in the UK and the moer you tax them, the more likely they are to move abroad and at that point, we don't get the corporation tax plus we don't get the income tax, we lose twice!

Now I agree, companies should be taxed on money they earn in the UK, in the UK but it's not as simple as whacking on a new tax. There are endless complicated treaties and agreements between countries that govern these things. If we start taxing American companies at source, we make it harder for them to operate in the UK, they complain to Obama and he introduces an import tax on UK goods, shafting our exporters. We impose an at source tax on Cayman Islands companies and the Cayman Islands government puts a tax on financial transactions from the UK, destroying our finance industry.

People need to stop analysing complicated international politics and trade in such black and white terms. On the face of it, it's nto fair that a company can earn money here and not pay tax at source but it's not illegal and how do you know the directors and shareholders don't all live in the UK and pay oodles of income tax? You're just being naive and I swear some people are deliberately blind to the facts when it comes to things like this.
 
 
On 13 Mar 2013 at 5:11pm Dick Shonary wrote:
Batsian you responded who? To a previous question about ESN in another thread. I think it means educationally sub normal
 
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On 13 Mar 2013 at 5:16pm bastian wrote:
So readers, as you can see, it is complicated tax system and designed to funnel off as much profit as possible before anyone in the Uk can take a slice. Ed Can Do, if you are a local councillor, and I presume if you have answered the question, you are, then are the Santon group paying tax on the rent they recieve in the Uk for the industrial estate? that is a simple one.
 
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On 13 Mar 2013 at 5:21pm bastian wrote:
Dick, that's the kind of suggestion I would expect from a poster who others know as Dick.
 
 
On 13 Mar 2013 at 5:27pm DS wrote:
Bastian, answer the question, are you, you sure seem like it.
 
 
On 13 Mar 2013 at 5:40pm detective wrote:
I have been told that Santon has some rather dubious company associates. Might be worth having a deep trawl on the internet.
 
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On 13 Mar 2013 at 6:15pm bastian wrote:
ed can do has just explained (although I already knew the tax system) to us all exactly what is wrong with the UK tax system. Well done ed. No one is asking for a new tax on Santon, just that they come up front about their tax situatiuon publicly so that the electorate can see who the council is happy to do business with, using our money which we earn and pay tax on.
 
 
On 13 Mar 2013 at 6:27pm Dick Strange wrote:
Bastian, exactly what business do you think the council is doing with them and what money of "ours" do you think they are spending in you're strangely twisted view of the world. You really ought to try and know what you're talking about before you insult and accuse people. Why don't you grow some and actually write to the council with your concerns?
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On 13 Mar 2013 at 6:34pm Ed Can Do wrote:
I'm not a local councillor so I can't answer your question I'm afraid but if I were, I imagine the answer would be that local government spending is allocated after a tendering process during which a number of different criteria are assessed, with the most important being cost. Whether that process is correctly followed is anyone's guess round here but as for whether ethical considerations are included in the process about tax payment or otherwise, that would be a good question to raise again come election time. I think that any local government body would struggle to do business without dealing with any companies that take advantage of opportunities to pay less tax though and where does one draw the line? Is it just paying less tax through funneling funds offshore you object to or would you prefer the council don't deal with anyone operating through a limited company in order to pay less tax than they would as an employee? The principle is the same, it's someone using a perfectly legal way of paying less ta to pay less tax but that's still money that could be going on reducing the deficit. As it happens, they made it more tax efficient to operate as a company because you have to report a lot more as a company, you benefit in tax savings at cost of disclosing more information. There are two sides to every story and like I said before, you can't look at these things in simple, black and white terms.
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On 13 Mar 2013 at 6:48pm Expat two wrote:
Actually, its very easy to avoid income tax 'legally', and there are many many people who do. In simple terms; form an offshore 'consultancy' business, have your pay paid into to that offshore business, and then transfer sums into an UK account. International money transfers are not income taxed. This is how, on top of businesses cheating on their taxes, their top staff do too. Its how Jimmy Carr was doing it up to last year, and a whole host of other fabulously wealthy characters. This is the 'legal' method that Conservative ministers are telling us all we should consider as legitimate tax strategising, not tax avoidance and certainly not cheating.
 
 
On 13 Mar 2013 at 8:36pm the old mayor wrote:
So now you're understanding why the country is in such a state. It is a big wide world out there and both individuals and companies can decide how to operate and which country offers the best tax deals - The United Kingdom does NOT offer the best deal. Just like any other commodity, taxation rates are a major consideration to financiers.

We are considering having a new garden fence, but am currently 'shopping' around for a non Vat registered contractor, to 'avoid' making a 'gift' to the government for the pleasure ! £ 980 fence = ¬£196 VAT and thats a case of wine to me !!(inc Duty again!)
 
 
On 13 Mar 2013 at 8:48pm Expat Two wrote:
"individuals and companies can decide how to operate and which country offers the best tax deals"
Not strictly true, you need to be at the top of the pile to take advantage. PAYE employees will never be allowed to provide their labour as a service provided by an offshore company. And a business needs to be pretty profitable before its worthwhile opening a ghost business in the Caymans to syphon off massive profits to, before declaring to the Treasury the UK arm made a loss and so isn't liable for corporation tax.
This is why smaller businesses have a disadvantage over the big international players. And remember, this is the 'legal' tax minimising that the neo-con governments of today keep telling us is perfectly legitimate and not to be tackled.
 
 
On 13 Mar 2013 at 9:39pm the old mayor wrote:
Well, if it helps we are not paying 20 % on top of a fence. So George Osbourne can put that in his pipe and smoke it !!
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On 13 Mar 2013 at 9:46pm Local wrote:
PAYE employees take zero risks; why should they have tax-efficiency options too?
Mayor - pay cash and negotiate a further discount, like I do.
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On 13 Mar 2013 at 10:03pm Expat Two wrote:
Local that's nonsense - what risk does a health board manager take that a PAYE nurse doesn't?
Even if he did take more risk, how is that good reason for everybody else to pay his taxes?
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On 13 Mar 2013 at 11:28pm Local wrote:
I'm not saying that a Health Board manager deserves such a reward, but entrepreneurs and wealth creators certainly do. Those special people are not PAYE employees. They take risks to get success, and should be rewarded every step of the way.
It strikes me that people forget that very very few people actually create the wealth that everybody else spends or benefits from.
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On 14 Mar 2013 at 12:21am Expat Two wrote:
Er.. ‚??wealth creators‚?? don‚??t actually create wealth, their employees do. All they do is provide the power and the money to get things organised. They‚??d be nowhere without their employees, nowhere.

And I do wish people would stop falling for this ‚??wealth creator‚?? nonsense, they don‚??t create wealth, they horde it. Offshore.
You are aware that working and middle class wages have not increased beyond inflation for over 30 years? The job you‚??re doing now is no better paid than it was 30 years ago, 30 years of mostly eye-popping economic boom. It‚??s got you nowhere, not a penny of wealth has been created. Fortunately, the top 1% have increased their net worth 17-fold. Maybe that‚??s just a lucky co-incidence, but your desire to pay their tax bills for them as a reward for not creating any wealth rather rankles with me.
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On 14 Mar 2013 at 7:29am Clifford wrote:
I'm always amazed how many people do not understand the purpose of a capitalist society and our role in it. We exist solely in the interest of the rich, the owners of this society. Their needs and wishes are paramount. The feudal lord may change the source of his power but we remain his serfs.
 
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On 14 Mar 2013 at 8:20am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Expat Two, come back home, your country needs you!
I don't think I've ever disagreed with a word in one of your posts.
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On 14 Mar 2013 at 10:21am Local wrote:
Well Expat Two, you have clearly never had any involvement whatsoever in the real world.
Just go on making your lovely plans for how to spend the proceeds of other people's ideas, risk-taking, hard work, commitment, investment, perseverence and sheer bloody-mindedness.
Not a single working class or middle-class worker is better off now than in the 70's, obviously.
Good god.
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On 14 Mar 2013 at 1:47pm Really? wrote:
So, Expat Two, the employees create the wealth do they? Interesting. Who is it then that comes up with the business ideas in the first place, take all the risks involved in setting up that business, and in doing so create jobs for other people? Somebody creating a business and employing 20 people is taking 20 people off benefits, and turning them into tax payers. So yes, they are wealth creators, not pumping wealth directly into your pocket but benefiting the country as a whole.
You might say that wages are no higher than they were in the 70's, and that may be true, but a lot of those jobs would not even exist if someone hadn't had the wherewithal to create the business in the first place. If you think you can do better than working for someone else and lining their pockets, then go for it and take some risks yourself. The world is your oyster, and everyone else's, but I guess most people are not prepared to take those risks, let alone come up with a good enough idea to build a new business on.
 
 
On 14 Mar 2013 at 3:33pm Nixon Scraypes wrote:
The old chestnut,workers v bosses raises it's head again.Nobody remembers the third part of the equation -capital. The entrepreneur has to borrow money to set up and run his business and pay interest on the loan. The government has to do the same. During the first world war they introduced the "Bradbury pound" to prevent a bank collapse. That was money created without interest by the government.It worked but was soon stopped at the behest of the international bankers.Most income tax goes to paying interest on loans which never needed to be taken out because the govenment could create debt free money itself.The recession could be over tomorrow if the government wanted it to be.Money is a means of exchange it should not be a commodity that must be bought.
 
 
On 14 Mar 2013 at 5:31pm bastian wrote:
there is one difference with dvelopers, the Santon group is not PLC, it is private limited company with two share holders, creating work for very few but creaming off alot of profit and paying no tax. In business a company isn't taken seriously unless it has a credit record, but they should still pay tax on money paid in rent, in Britain, by small firms who employ people above board.
 
 
On 14 Mar 2013 at 5:42pm Pedant wrote:
Do you think that NAMA paid tax on the rent which they received from the companies on the Phoenix?
 
 
On 14 Mar 2013 at 6:49pm Clifford wrote:
Really - you don't seem to have heard of 'the labour theory of value' or the concept of 'extracting surplus value'. You also seem to imagine we are living in the 19th century if small proprietor capitalism rather than 21st century monopoly capitalism. Time to throw away the old economics textbooks and take a look at the real
world.
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On 14 Mar 2013 at 7:40pm Zebedee wrote:
Crikey Clifford. The clock really stopped for you.
 
 
On 15 Mar 2013 at 3:36pm bastian wrote:
I supose some of us have principals, (this is seen as old fashioned) and of course what exactly is progressive about the slavery of the people to feed the rich.?it all smacks of the past to me. The zeal to push workers further into poverty just to support the few is insane. Not to emntion that "creative thinking" and "Creative accountancy" are not worth any more money or devious tax evasion than any other career path. Just because they think of something to bleed the populus dry does not give them the right to twist their financial rules for their own ends... unless they are nasty, twisted selfish people.
 
 
On 15 Mar 2013 at 5:20pm Selfish Twister wrote:
So Bastian, I gues you're public sector then? You didn't answer the question earlier, what business do you think the council are doing with them and what public money do you think they are spending? You like asking questions but don't seem to be able to answer them.
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On 15 Mar 2013 at 7:10pm bastian wrote:
I love people who use the term public sector as an insult, I just hope they understand the value of a free ambulence when they need it, or a free childcare service at the point of need. But then if they are a selfish twister then they think everyone elase can go to hell, so that's progress again.
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On 15 Mar 2013 at 7:18pm bastian wrote:
given you are so simple as to not comprehend the use of public money being used for planning applications and decisn making by the council, who are supposed to do a background search on all their companies under the "due dilligence" heading, which is payed for by the public in the interests of fairness to the public purse ( tax avoidence is not in the interests of the public purse), then they are accpountable to the voting public to show that they have done their very best to work with only the companies who meet their standards. If they just excuse tax avoidence on a casual "oh that's normal in business" way, they have not been dilligent on our behalf and that leaves them in the position of possibly being errant. Is it time to call for a vote of no confidence on the councils methods if they are not fulfilling their duty to the electorate.
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On 15 Mar 2013 at 7:33pm Sussex Jim wrote:
The Public services are not free, and are funded by taxpayers. National Insurance was originally designed to pay for medical care should one fall ill or need to see a doctor; and to provide TEMPORARY payment for those unfortunate to be out of work.
Most insurances these days have an excess; that is, you have to pay the first (say) £100 of each claim yourself. If only we had to pay the first ¬£5 of a doctor's consultation or perhaps ¬£10 per day for a stay in hospital it would probably slash the NHS costs overnight.
 
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On 15 Mar 2013 at 11:25pm Re Tard wrote:
Bastion, you are actually off your trolley you talk complete and utter sh1t
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On 16 Mar 2013 at 12:54am Local wrote:
I must say that it never fails to amaze me how left-leaning types fail to grasp the fact that they only seem capable of spending other people's money. Free ambulances, free childcare, etc!
 
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On 16 Mar 2013 at 9:36am Selfish Twister wrote:
Bastian, my dear little tiny brained unfortunate, as usual you have missed the point, the suggestion you were in public sector was not an insult but to understand where you endeavour, other than your putrid contributions to this hole. It was not an insult. You either work in the public sector, private sector or don't work at all, which I suspect is probably you. If you do work in the private sector then you are a contributor to the thing you seem to hate so, wherever you sit in the food chain and you certainly don't understand it. If you're public sector that's probably why you don't understand the real world. Whatever it is, you are an incredibly ignorant sad sad trolling pus bubble
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On 16 Mar 2013 at 7:36pm bastian wrote:
sussex jim, you are quite right, public services are not free, they are paid out of taxes and national insurence contributions, so if everyone pays up and contributes we can all have our services "free at the point of need". But if companies decide not to pay tax on their businesses it makes it hard for the chancellor to make his sums add up. And we all have to work until...I think 70 was mentioned the other day in the house of Lords.


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An American diner would have been much better there , Hixton Green menu not great and overpriced. more
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