Rather disingenuous of the Guardian to offer a solution to the ever-increasing tax avoidance problem that is totally impractical (Unthinkable? Pay As You’re Paid, 6 October). The situation requires an urgent response, not only because tax avoidance is costing the country billions each year, but also because our “two nation” society is divided into those who pay their correct dues in taxation, because they realise fairness is crucial if civilised society is to be maintained, and those who do everything in their power to pay as little as possible.
The banking culture is not the only one in dire need of change, and the sooner real transparency is a feature of the fiscal system the better. Labour needs to apply itself to the problem, and expose the hypocrisy of those who add to the deficit by avoiding tax and then advocate the imposition of austerity measures on people who do not.
Rewriting the legal definition of a “company” and making it impossible for employees to create their own simply to pay lower taxes also seems sensible, as does ending the awarding of knighthoods and other honours to tax avoiders and evaders. An example needs to be set at the top, by politicians, celebrities, footballers, media-types and such like, if tax avoidance is not to become even more deeply embedded in our divided society.
• In your article MPs target tax arrangement of BBC stars (5 October), you state: “Staff on company payrolls pay up to 50% tax on their salaries and must contribute national insurance. Those paid via personal service companies set up for the recipient’s benefit pay tax at 21% and are exempt from national insurance.”
You are confusing corporation tax and income tax. If the company makes a profit, it pays corporation tax at 21%. No individual can draw from these profits without paying income tax; if they draw a salary from the company they pay income tax and national insurance (NI) in the normal way and at full rates.
Many people who are self-employed use a company because they are receiving income from multiple sources and because they employ researchers or assistants. They then pay themselves a salary with NI and tax deducted.
In a good year, if their company has done well, they may pay themselves a dividend, which would be taxed in the usual way. There is no NI on dividends so this could be seen to be a saving but to suggest that these people are exempt from NI is not true.
• Private companies that generate income primarily through the work of their major shareholders should be obliged to pay employment income to these individuals. Dividend income should be restricted to a reasonable return on capital invested, say 20%.
Guisborough, North Yorkshire
• It’s extremely hypocritical of the Tories to attack the BBC over the “service company” tax arrangements of many of its stars. It was previous Tory administrations that created the present situation when they insisted on “market reforms” at the BBC. This encouraged the laying off of permanent staff and their re-employment via outsourcing arrangements.
Gee Cross, Cheshire
• As a sole trader running a small independent company providing freelance consultancy and advice for public sector organisations, I recently received notification from my professional association that, following a recent visit from HMRC, “We need to ensure that self-employed trainers and associates who undertake work under contract … do so as limited companies and not as private individuals, in terms of their legal status.” It would seem one hand of the government expects self-employed folks in receipt of public funds to pay income tax at 40%, while the other (HMRC) is actively encouraging the self-employed to reduce their tax liabilities to 21%.
• The public accounts committee should be pleased public sector workers are at last taking on standard private sector practice.
- The psychology behind ‘Boomerpreneurs’ – many boomers start their own business because they want to work for themselves, not because of financial need
- Over the past decade, the number of self-employed workers has increased by 17 per cent; 40 per cent of workers over 65 are self-employed
- Entrepreneurial trend could lead to a boost for the Canadian economy
- BMO offers financial advice to “Boomerpreneurs” launching new businesses
Read the original: REPEAT-BMO: Business Booming for "Boomerpreneurs"
How to identify and avoid bogus websites that are snaring would-be self-employed with promises of big pay for little work
Visit link: Spotting Home-Based Business Scams
By Matt Cantor, Newser Staff
In an era of disappearing manufacturing jobs and struggling small towns, a giant corporation has become an unlikely hero in Ohio. East Liverpool, by the Ohio River, has been called country’s “Pottery Capital,” but lately just a few factories remain.
Among them is American Mug and Stein, which recently finished up its heftiest order ever: Starbucks requested 20,000 mugs. The project allowed owner Clyde McClellan to double his staff–and continuing Starbucks orders have let him keep them employed, NPR reports. …
Follow this link: Starbucks Saves Small-Town Factory
Labour candidate for mayor of London defends legitimacy of own company tax position and attacks tax scams
Ken Livingstone, the Labour party candidate for mayor of London, has defended himself against accusations of tax avoidance, claiming he is the victim of a smear campaign.
He said money paid into the accounts of the limited company owned by him and his wife, Emma Beal, was used to pay people he employed and he made no financial gain by the arrangement.
Livingstone has been accused of hypocrisy for attacking tax avoidance by others while allegedly avoiding tax himself. He recently said: “These rich bastards just don’t get it … no one should be allowed to vote in a British election, let alone sit in parliament, unless they pay their full share of tax.
“Cameron’s problem is too many of his team have become super rich by exploiting every tax fiddle … [We should] sweep away tax scams and everybody should pay tax at the same rate on earnings and other income.”
Reports from Companies House reveal that Livingstone’s company Silveta Limited had funds of £238,000 in 2011 and £284,000 in 2010. Critics claim that by directing earnings into a limited company, Livingstone is liable for corporation tax of 20% rather than paying income tax of up to 50%.
After losing the mayoral election in 2008, Livingstone earned money by writing, making speeches and broadcasting. The money is paid to Silveta, of which he is a director and Beal is secretary and director.
Livingstone said he employed a researcher, a press officer and his wife who typed his memoirs. “I am in exactly the same position as everybody else who has a small business. I mean, I get loads of money, all from different sources, and I give it to an accountant and they manage it,” he said on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.
“You pay corporation tax. If you then take out spending yourself, you have to pay more. What I am not doing is paying income tax on the money I use to employ other people.”
Livingstone said that he earned £55,000 in the last year and paid the full rate of income tax on that but did not earn enough to pay the top rate of income tax.
“The simple fact is, and the hypocrisy of all this, is Boris Johnson has exactly the same arrangements to handle his earnings from television. Almost everybody in the media, who is not employed directly, has exactly the same arrangements,” said Livingstone.
“I am not offshore. I am running a small company, just like hundreds of thousands of people. It’s a smear campaign currently being run.”
An audio recording surfaced Friday to show the Conservative campaign in Guelph, Ont., wasn’t the only one to use automated robocalls in the last federal election campaign. The Liberals also employed the technique.
View post: Robocalls by Liberals also targeted Guelph
About 20,000 court cases may have to be re-heard after allegations emerge claiming that expert witnesses employed by insurance firms lied in court.
Read the rest here: Expert witnesses accused of lying