Corporation Tax – Carr / Barlow Saga

Carr_Barlow_TaxEarly on today, an image popped up on my Facebook timeline and whoosh, out came my goat. Both of those incidents really got my goat up back then and still do.  Guy Martin has “Brian the Monkey”, me, I have “Gordon the Goat”.
In fact it riled Gordon up so much so, I hadn’t updated this site in almost three years and rather than post this as a reply to the innocent person on Facebook and make it look like I was flaming them, I thought bugger it, I’m going to post it here.  Gordon was on a rampage!!

It might piddle some people off, but I believe Jimmy Carr and Gary Barlow have done absolutely nothing wrong.  Ok, it’s commendable that Jimmy Carr has made some kind of voluntary payment, but that’s his personal choice (although it might also be a prudent business decision if he thinks he’ll lose his target audience over it).

Jimmy Carr is a comedian, he does comedy.
Gary Barlow is a songwriter/performer, he writes songs and performs.

I’m a software engineer/website developer. I write software, develop websites.

I know absolutely nothing about business tax returns other than the fact I have to complete them or pay a flaming big fine, and I suspect Jimmy Carr and Gary Barlow knew about as much as I do.

Because I know nothing about it, I employ an expert, or a company of experts (depending if you are Messrs Carr or Barlow with gazillions in the bank).
They and I didn’t go to some £39.99 bargain tax consultant based in some sweatshop in the back streets of Mumbai, we asked reputable tax companies to do their jobs. i.e. “Can you submit my tax returns making sure I pay the least amount of tax I am legally allowed to pay?”. When I lived in Texas, even gambling losses were tax deductible.
If the expert says, “ok, using this method you have to pay this much, or pay nothing at all”, they are the experts. Other than me probably saying “really? Are you sure that’s legal?” or “Are you sure that doesn’t involve the Mafia?”, what else can I do???
It’s not the likes of me the SME or Carr or Barlow that should be held to justice, it’s the major accountancy firms that should be named and shamed.

There is nothing legally wrong with any of us using the Double Irish/Dutch Sandwich method other than morally, it might piddle people off.

And in the case of that unnamed massive coffee chain. They were given tax incentives (along the lines of, “here, use this method of submitting your corporation tax and you’ll pay none”) in return for opening up 1000’s of stores, creating 1000’s of new jobs, creating 100’s of 1000’s (if not millions) in VAT and helping stimulate the local and national economy. And their only crime is not paying corporation tax on their profit using a perfectly legal system.

Campaign to close the legal loopholes, or, make sure ever man and it’s dog knows about it. The instant we all submit our corporation tax returns via legal methods, HMT would have a hissy fit and close them down.

But please let us get off the backs of those who probably know diddly squat about tax and hit the rich numpties who run those tax companies…

I wonder how much corporation tax some of these accountancy firms pay? That would be interesting to see no doubt.

Putting Gordon to bed now sorry…