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  1. #1
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    The Paradise Papers

    Everywhere in the news at present.

    The BBC in particular, but others as well, hounding people for their tax avoidance activities.
    Every news item seems to include the words, "of course, this activity is not illegal".

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-41880153

    What are peoples thoughts about this current news issue, and how it's being reported?


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  3. #2
    @hibs.net private member speedy_gonzales's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grunt View Post
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    Everywhere in the news at present.

    The BBC in particular, but others as well, hounding people for their tax avoidance activities.
    Every news item seems to include the words, "of course, this activity is not illegal".

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-41880153

    What are peoples thoughts about this current news issue, and how it's being reported?
    Last week it was all about the questionable behaviour of politicians and the #metoo campaign, I come back from a weekend away and there is ANOTHER story (after the Panama papers) in the press re morally questionable financial behaviours,,,,I'm just trying to find out what is being buried underneath this!

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy_gonzales View Post
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    Last week it was all about the questionable behaviour of politicians and the #metoo campaign, I come back from a weekend away and there is ANOTHER story (after the Panama papers) in the press re morally questionable financial behaviours,,,,I'm just trying to find out what is being buried underneath this!
    Programme just started on BBC Scotland with some background on this.

  5. #4
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    If the government were concerned about the tax they are losing due to these loopholes they would close them. Even with the loopholes these people probably pay a hell of a lot more tax to the government each year than the people moaning about it will do in thier entire life which is why they are allowed to exist. Close the loopholes and try and take 40% of a multi-millionaires income or make it much more expensive to live and spend in the UK they will simply up sticks and move to monaco or switzerland or anywhere else they will be charged less and the UK government would get 0% out of these people rather than the amount they do get at present.

    If i was lucky enough to have that kind of money i would be looking to keep as much of it for myself as possible as well. They haven't broken any laws, people need to get over it.




    #persevered

  6. #5
    Private Members Prediction League Winner Hibrandenburg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyJo View Post
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    If the government were concerned about the tax they are losing due to these loopholes they would close them. Even with the loopholes these people probably pay a hell of a lot more tax to the government each year than the people moaning about it will do in thier entire life which is why they are allowed to exist. Close the loopholes and try and take 40% of a multi-millionaires income or make it much more expensive to live and spend in the UK they will simply up sticks and move to monaco or switzerland or anywhere else they will be charged less and the UK government would get 0% out of these people rather than the amount they do get at present.

    If i was lucky enough to have that kind of money i would be looking to keep as much of it for myself as possible as well. They haven't broken any laws, people need to get over it.
    They might not have broken any laws but it's another unfair advantage they have over normal citizens. The dice are loaded in their favour, that's the problem most have with this.

  7. #6
    When hibs went up to lift the Scottish cup, I was there!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibrandenburg View Post
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    They might not have broken any laws but it's another unfair advantage they have over normal citizens. The dice are loaded in their favour, that's the problem most have with this.
    Thats capitalism for you.




    #persevered

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyJo View Post
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    Thats capitalism for you.
    It's not.

  9. #8
    @hibs.net private member Sergio sledge's Avatar
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    It's on a much larger scale, but is it any different to tradesmen doing jobs for cash in hand rather than invoicing? I'm sure we've all paid someone for a homer at some stage to save ourselves money and save them from paying tax.

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    Private Members Prediction League Winner Hibrandenburg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergio sledge View Post
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    It's on a much larger scale, but is it any different to tradesmen doing jobs for cash in hand rather than invoicing? I'm sure we've all paid someone for a homer at some stage to save ourselves money and save them from paying tax.
    Not quite. Cash in hand or jobs on the fly are illegal, these off shore schemes are legal. But only the rich can take advantage of them because they're actually quite expensive to take part in. You could save 3 million in taxes for example, but it'll cost you 0.5 million to do so making you a nice wee profit of 2.5 million. If us normal folks break our piggy bank and try the same with our paltry savings we'd get told to gtf because the costs of the avoidance scheme would far outweigh any potential return.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibrandenburg View Post
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    Not quite. Cash in hand or jobs on the fly are illegal, these off shore schemes are legal. But only the rich can take advantage of them because they're actually quite expensive to take part in. You could save 3 million in taxes for example, but it'll cost you 0.5 million to do so making you a nice wee profit of 2.5 million. If us normal folks break our piggy bank and try the same with our paltry savings we'd get told to gtf because the costs of the avoidance scheme would far outweigh any potential return.
    Just to clarify that it's not illegal to pay someone "cash in hand".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergio sledge View Post
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    It's on a much larger scale, but is it any different to tradesmen doing jobs for cash in hand rather than invoicing? I'm sure we've all paid someone for a homer at some stage to save ourselves money and save them from paying tax.
    This is a good point, there was a guy on the radio making the same point. In fact, not declaring income is actuallu illegal i believe, so is more wrong than minimising your tax exposure which is what this amounts to. Its just the figures are greater numbers.

    I do share the initial outrage, but thr more i read, the more i think there isnt really a story here - i dont know anyone who pays more tax than the minimum they have to, or who overrules their accountant on such issues.

    Offshore wealth is exactly that, and people habe the freedom to put their money where they want. They will still be paying tax on income etc in the UK.

    I do have a problem with the loopholes that allow companies to claim no UK profits - espeically tech comoanies, but its up to the govt to close those. And its noticeable how the EU seems to turn a blind eye to Lux.

    I also have a problem with crown dependancies taking our protection but not paying their way if that is tye case.

    Ultimately though, people are rightly free to do what they want within the law.

    Some of the hyperbole arpund this is as dogmatic and stupid from the lefty media as some of the anti-immigration stuff that comes from the rabid right media imo. One piece i read in the guardian was so full of rubbish, even i, a total layperson, could see the major errors in the assumptions underpinning the whole argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Future17 View Post
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    Just to clarify that it's not illegal to pay someone "cash in hand".
    True, but not declaring it all is.

  14. #13
    @hibs.net proletariat member Pete's Avatar
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    I'm loath to demonise any of these celebrities who have been named by the papers. They've probably been told by their advisors that there are perfectly legal ways to make your money work harder and know nothing of the intricacies of it all.

    One thing that irks a lot of people is the sheer figures involved. There is part of me that would care a little bit less if we hadn't been subject to all these brutal cuts to the NHS, local government funding, benefits etc...being told that we've all got to make sacrifices and we're all in this together. You can also bet that if there is one government that won't be rushing to close any loop holes for individuals or multi nationals, it's this one.

    One thing this is evidence of is the staggering inequality in this country and how the present system (call it whatever version of capitalism you like) is failing when it comes to proper, fair wealth distribution. It's got to the stage where the super rich are totally calling the shots and basically saying that if you don't like it, we'll take our money that's been accumulated and you'll get **** all...next it'll be a classic case of convincing everyone that the people who are really robbing the public are the people on the bottom of the rung that sometimes do wee homers just to make ends meet. Kind of like the way we've been convinced that the benefit cheats and the immigrants should be the real subject of scrutiny.

    It's not the celebrities that are wrong. It's the system, the way it allows certain entities to accumulate vast wealth and the meek acceptance by so many that there can never be any other way.

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    @hibs.net private member JimBHibees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibrandenburg View Post
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    They might not have broken any laws but it's another unfair advantage they have over normal citizens. The dice are loaded in their favour, that's the problem most have with this.
    Totally agree and it does give the total impression of one rule for one and one for the others especially for the very rich and famous both corporations and individuals. Added to that the demonisaton of many ordinary people in certain sections of the press in terms of benefits cheats etc when the figures involved for that is probably a drop in the ocean compared to what has come out under this.

  16. #15
    @hibs.net private member JimBHibees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
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    I'm loath to demonise any of these celebrities who have been named by the papers. They've probably been told by their advisors that there are perfectly legal ways to make your money work harder and know nothing of the intricacies of it all.

    One thing that irks a lot of people is the sheer figures involved. There is part of me that would care a little bit less if we hadn't been subject to all these brutal cuts to the NHS, local government funding, benefits etc...being told that we've all got to make sacrifices and we're all in this together. You can also bet that if there is one government that won't be rushing to close any loop holes for individuals or multi nationals, it's this one.

    One thing this is evidence of is the staggering inequality in this country and how the present system (call it whatever version of capitalism you like) is failing when it comes to proper, fair wealth distribution. It's got to the stage where the super rich are totally calling the shots and basically saying that if you don't like it, we'll take our money that's been accumulated and you'll get **** all...next it'll be a classic case of convincing everyone that the people who are really robbing the public are the people on the bottom of the rung that sometimes do wee homers just to make ends meet. Kind of like the way we've been convinced that the benefit cheats and the immigrants should be the real subject of scrutiny.

    It's not the celebrities that are wrong. It's the system, the way it allows certain entities to accumulate vast wealth and the meek acceptance by so many that there can never be any other way.
    Fantastic post.

  17. #16
    @hibs.net private member snooky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimBHibees View Post
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    Totally agree and it does give the total impression of one rule for one and one for the others especially for the very rich and famous both corporations and individuals. Added to that the demonisaton of many ordinary people in certain sections of the press in terms of benefits cheats etc when the figures involved for that is probably a drop in the ocean compared to what has come out under this .
    This x100

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthsideHarp_Bhoy View Post
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    True, but not declaring it all is.
    Only if you're the recipient.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergio sledge View Post
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    It's on a much larger scale, but is it any different to tradesmen doing jobs for cash in hand rather than invoicing? I'm sure we've all paid someone for a homer at some stage to save ourselves money and save them from paying tax.
    Lewis Hamilton setting up a company to buy a plane for £13m and then leasing it to himself for "business use" to save £3m in VAT is not much different to what anybody with a "company car" does, people are just getting outraged because he is doing it with a £15m private jet rather than a £30,000 Audi.




    #persevered

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimBHibees View Post
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    Added to that the demonisaton of many ordinary people in certain sections of the press in terms of benefits cheats etc when the figures involved for that is probably a drop in the ocean compared to what has come out under this.
    Maybe so, but that's not really what were discussing here. That's a different issue.

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Future17 View Post
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    Only if you're the recipient.
    If you pay cash knowing that it will not be declared as income by the recipient, might you possibly be guilty of conspiring to defraud Her Maj?

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyJo View Post
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    Lewis Hamilton setting up a company to buy a plane for £13m and then leasing it to himself for "business use" to save £3m in VAT is not much different to what anybody with a "company car" does, people are just getting outraged because he is doing it with a £15m private jet rather than a £30,000 Audi.
    Thank you. Good point. Nothing these people are doing is illegal, but they are being chased by the media and hounded online. It seems wrong to me.

    Today I see the advisors are being targeted, and Common Weal are saying that they should be excluded from Scottish Government contracts. I don't agree with this.

  23. #22
    @hibs.net private member CropleyWasGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grunt View Post
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    Thank you. Good point. Nothing these people are doing is illegal, but they are being chased by the media and hounded online. It seems wrong to me.

    Today I see the advisors are being targeted, and Common Weal are saying that they should be excluded from Scottish Government contracts. I don't agree with this.


    The irony of that is that the SG will soon have their own (self-inflicted) tax-avoidance issues to deal with, when Higher-rate taxpayers start to be creative about residency.

    Should every tax advisor be excluded from SG work, since it's part of their job to minimise their clients' tax liabilities?

  24. #23
    @hibs.net private member CropleyWasGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lapsedhibee View Post
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    If you pay cash knowing that it will not be declared as income by the recipient, might you possibly be guilty of conspiring to defraud Her Maj?
    If you said "Here's your cash. Now you won't have to pay the tax", and that was recorded, sure.

    It would take a lot to prove that you "knew", though.

  25. #24
    @hibs.net private member Peevemor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
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    I'm loath to demonise any of these celebrities who have been named by the papers. They've probably been told by their advisors that there are perfectly legal ways to make your money work harder and know nothing of the intricacies of it all.

    One thing that irks a lot of people is the sheer figures involved. There is part of me that would care a little bit less if we hadn't been subject to all these brutal cuts to the NHS, local government funding, benefits etc...being told that we've all got to make sacrifices and we're all in this together. You can also bet that if there is one government that won't be rushing to close any loop holes for individuals or multi nationals, it's this one.

    One thing this is evidence of is the staggering inequality in this country and how the present system (call it whatever version of capitalism you like) is failing when it comes to proper, fair wealth distribution. It's got to the stage where the super rich are totally calling the shots and basically saying that if you don't like it, we'll take our money that's been accumulated and you'll get **** all...next it'll be a classic case of convincing everyone that the people who are really robbing the public are the people on the bottom of the rung that sometimes do wee homers just to make ends meet. Kind of like the way we've been convinced that the benefit cheats and the immigrants should be the real subject of scrutiny.

    It's not the celebrities that are wrong. It's the system, the way it allows certain entities to accumulate vast wealth and the meek acceptance by so many that there can never be any other way.
    But it's not the super rich that elected 3 consecutive conservative governments is it? It's the same in France, everyone knew that Macron is a Rothschild puppet but he was voted in on a landslide (yet folk are starting to moan now!).

    It's us, the "little people" who have to pay more attention to how we vote.

  26. #25
    @hibs.net private member JimBHibees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grunt View Post
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    Maybe so, but that's not really what were discussing here. That's a different issue.
    Different but definitely related. All of us in it together my erse.

  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by grunt View Post
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    Thank you. Good point. Nothing these people are doing is illegal, but they are being chased by the media and hounded online. It seems wrong to me.

    Today I see the advisors are being targeted, and Common Weal are saying that they should be excluded from Scottish Government contracts. I don't agree with this.
    Tge left wing media are acting in the same febrile, spurious manner that they criticise the right wing media for. Its trial by newspaper.

    We would all benefit from less heat, more light.

    The really annoying thing is all the celebrity bashing is probably getting in tye way of actually dealing with a difficult and complex issue.

    Its much easier to 'hang the witches' i suppose.

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    The irony of that is that the SG will soon have their own (self-inflicted) tax-avoidance issues to deal with, when Higher-rate taxpayers start to be creative about residency.

    Should every tax advisor be excluded from SG work, since it's part of their job to minimise their clients' tax liabilities?
    Exactly. I also hate the term the 'spirit of the law'. The law has no spirit, it is written down and challengeable in a court.

    If the law is crap, change the law - you cant really blame people for not voluntarily paying additional millions in tax. I know i wouldnt in their position.

  29. #28
    Itís so complex isnít it.Say a company finances a building construction in the UK through an offshore company so that the profit is taken there but as a result 300 workers are employed here building it then another 150 are employed in the completed building.You canít say it would only be built thanks to the offshore deal but it might be the case.
    Also if these dependencies were not tax havens would the UK taxpayers have to provide more funds through overseas aid to cover a shortfall in money previously generated by those using them?

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