Tag Archive | "Amazon"

You Kante Be Serious?

Tax is a subject we talk a lot about on this blog. Tax, tax, tax…and more tax…we just can’t shut up about it.

You will have heard us talk about big companies such as Amazon and Apple, who pay virtually NO tax here on British shores.

You will have also heard us talk about big name football stars such as Ronaldo and Messi who tried to get away from their tax duties by setting up offshore accounts.

That’s why it comes as a surprise when we have just heard about Premiership football star N’Golo Kante. The famous Chelsea player who has just signed a new £290,000 a week deal with the Blues.

Not bad money if you can get it…but get this…Kante has made it clear that he will pay HMRC every single penny they are owed.

In other words, he won’t be trying to send his money away in some kind of offshore bank account and he won’t get involved in some kind of dodgy film finance scheme (Sorry Rooney).

Now, Kante will pocket a cool 15 million from his new deal with Chelsea, which means the tax man or woman will come knocking for around £6.7 million in tax.

Here is the interesting part. This means our man Kante will pay MORE tax than Amazon.

That’s right. You heard it here first.

Last year Amazon only paid £1.7 million pounds to HMRC, despite the fact they rake in billions all around this country of ours.

Many pundits have hit out at the online shopping giant, but so far, nothing has been done to find out exactly why their contribution to HMRC is so low.

On the other hand, N’Golo Kante is only making 15 million, but he has no problems paying his due and writing out a cheque payable to “HMRC.”

“6.7 million pounds only” – he will write on that cheque, and then, with a first class stamp on the front of the envelope he will pop it in the postbox at the top of his street.

“Back of the net!” he may even say, as he pops it in.

But is Kante going to be scoring an own goal? In the opinion of us here at Contractor Accountants…maybe.

Why? Because although his intention is no doubt a noble one, we think he should at least try to save a bit of that £6.7 million tax bill.

Not much, just a bit.

The good news is that Kante doesn’t have to do anything dodgy. Everything will be completely above board.

All he has to do is hire a contractor accountant. They might be able to bring his tax bill down to £4.7 million at a guess. A saving of 2 million pounds…at a guess.

Everything legal. Everything down the straight and narrow.

Kante still gets to do the right thing and pay into the system, but at the same time he saves a bit of money. For that…we would salute him.

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“You Pay,” Say Francais

A few months ago I reported on how Google stuck their middle finger up to the country of France and said “no pay, Francais.”

This no doubt annoyed the French who were probably rubbing their hands at the thought of getting some of that “Google cash.”

In the absence of a cheque from Google it seems that the French government set their sight on another target…Amazon, the online shopping giant.

Just like Google they have quite a bit of cash in the bank, so it makes sense that French officials would try and hit them up, so to speak.

To the tune of 200 million Euros, which the French government say is for back taxes during the years of 2006 to 2010. Amazon were making a nice bit of change in France during those years but the tax office in Paris saw barely anything. So they say anyway.

This isn’t the first time that Amazon have found themselves at the wrong end of the court room when it comes to the subject of tax in Europe.

Last year It was the turn of the Italians to go hunting for back taxes against the online commerce company, and after a lengthy dispute they finally got a postal order…for the sum of 100 million Euros. Nice money if you can get it, and it appears the Italian government got plenty of it.

So now it is the turn of the French, and although we are not sure exactly how much Amazon have paid in back taxes, it does seem they have come to a settlement.

“We have reached a settlement agreement with the French tax authorities on past issues and our main objective remains to provide the best possible buying experience for our clients in France,” said a spokesperson for Amazon when asked about the situation.

Why are Amazon constantly finding themselves locking horns with European nations anyway…surely they obey the law when it comes to paying tax? While I’m sure they are above board and doing everything legit, the area of contention is about when Amazon first started trading in many of these European countries.

At that time all of their money went directly to Luxembourg, which means countries such as France barely saw a penny.

Of course, legally paying less tax is something that all companies are concerned with, and is the reason why they hire accountants to do their books properly and make sure everything is accounted for.

It’s the same with hard working contractors in the UK. They want to pay less tax, yes, but they want to do it within the confines of the law. That is why contractor accountants are so popular, they make that happen without the need to do anything dodgy like offshore bank accounts.

So Amazon have backed down, and Francais have got their pay day. “Viva la France!”

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No Pay Francais – Google Beat The French Government

It seems that Google are in the news a lot recently, typically having to hand over a cheque to some country or another for back taxes.

Well, it looked like they were getting ready to write out another cheque to the French Government, for around 1 Billion pounds, until a court ruling decided they didn’t have to pay a penny.

This time it appears Google took on the French government…and won, but will that be the end of it? I don’t think so.

So what is this all about exactly? Quite simply, the French government claim that Google owe over a billion in tax for the year 2005 up to 2010, and they were determined to get it.

However, Google have had their day in court, and a top judge has ruled in their favour, although many pundits have commented that it is strange that the search engine giant paid so little in tax during those years.

Just what is going on here? Who knows exactly, but what I do is that this isn’t the last time we will be hearing about Google and the subject of tax in the news.

It was only last year of course when Google reached a settlement with the UK government for 130 million in back taxes. Maybe that is where the French government went wrong…they should have asked for less.

This was always going to be a tough one for the French government if you ask me, because although Google did have an online presence in France during those years, they didn’t have any “permanent establishment” within the country, instead trading as Google Ireland Limited from their base in the Republic of Ireland, which is a subsidiary of their main company based in America.

Some experts argue that Google should have to pay taxes for those years, even if they didn’t have a physical address or place of business in France, while others argue that internet companies are different than traditional based businesses and the normal tax rules don’t always apply.

One thing I do know is that other big companies such as Apple and Amazon will have been watching this whole thing carefully, as they are also being investigated by the French authorities for back taxes.

Over the next few years I reckon that many of these tax matters are going to be a lot more straight forward, mainly because the European Parliament are about to pass new rules in regards to multi national companies and where they make their profits.

In other words, a company such as Google would have to give a detailed breakdown of exactly where every penny comes from, which would make it easier for countries such as France to know how much has been earned within their borders from internet customers.

Will the French government ever see any money for those back taxes? Something tells me they won’t, and if they do, then it will only be a small settlement, similar to what the UK government got last year.

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