Tag Archive | "facebook"

It’s WAR! (France Stand Alone)

We are in the midst of a war, but not as we know it. A tax war…the kind of war that bears no resemblance to any other.

Who would have thought that France would stand alone to take on the “enemy” while the UK backed away.

“We surrender!” is what the UK generals said.

Germany are also out of this one, while the USA are watching from afar once again, ready to step in if needed.

So who is the enemy? According to the French Government it is digital companies such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.

I’ve reported before on France and their fight against these Billion Dollar companies.

“No Pay, Francais.” was one such post…followed by “You Pay, Say Francais.” Look them up.

So now it is all out war. The kind of war that won’t be fought at the beaches and there will be no marching in Paris. This war is all online.

“We can no longer accept to have all our private companies paying a higher level of taxes in our nations when the digital giants are not paying the same,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Marie.

Fighting words for sure. The kind of words that a general uses to rally his troops and get them ready on the eve of a battle.

Never will they surrender again. The “Fighting French,” is what some pundits have proclaimed.

Why are countries such as the UK and Germany not joining forces with France though, are they SCARED? Sort of.

While war is something that the British and Germans know a thing or two about, in this particular day and age it is more about caution.

Some experts say that the UK and Germany are actually fearful of retaliation from the USA if they join up with France.

“Attack our digital companies and you will pay,” seems to be the message from North America.

Philip Hammond, the UK Chancellor avoided any kind of conflict at a recent meeting, and instead of giving out a WAR CRY like the French Finance Minister, he decided to be a bit more…diplomatic.

Mr Hammond wants more dialogue about the situation, no doubt wary of American revenge if the UK took up arms with the French.

So it looks like American online giants can continue as normal in Europe. Make billions…pay no tax. Rinse and repeat. Good times!

A good time can be had by all though, even UK contractors. All you need is a contractor accountant in your corner and the good times can begin.

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Nearly £1 Billion in Revenue But Only £5 Million in Tax…

I’ve reported before on this blog about how large companies operating in the UK are making billions but paying barely any tax.

Now it is the turn of Facebook, who in the last year saw their UK revenue jump from £210 million to £850 million.

Now I’m no maths teacher, but that is nearly 1 billion pounds sterling that Facebook are making right here on British shores, and which you would expect to come with a hefty tax bill.

Take your average contractor for example. If they were bringing in over £800 million pounds a year then I’m sure they would expect to pay quite a significant amount of tax to the inland revenue, even if they had a good contractor accountant on their side.

However, that doesn’t appear to be true for Facebook, as reports are claiming they are only being hit up for £5 million in taxes, despite the fact they are pulling in close to a Billion from UK customers.

Why are Facebook doing so well anyway, because as we all know, it’s a free social media site? The answer is advertising, and my insider sources are saying that in the past year they have been selling ad space to big UK businesses who don’t mind paying out a lot of cash.

Not bad money if you can get it, and it seems like Facebook are getting plenty of it, with some pundits predicting they will join the ranks of Google, Apple, and Microsoft by earning over £1 billion pounds in the UK.

Just like those companies they also have a good accountant working for them no doubt. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if Facebook pay more for accountants than they do tax, but who knows for sure.

As far as I’m concerned the good people over at Facebook are doing everything legal and above board and will continue to do so, unless a court of law proves otherwise.

That hasn’t stopped some organisations flinging accusations at the UK branch of Facebook though, with the chief executive from the Tax Justice Network having this to say – “The UK approach to these tech companies doesn’t deliver the results the public expect. Parliament has already given the Treasury the power to require a different level of tax transparency. For reasons we do not understand the government has chosen not to do that.”

A spokesperson for Facebook has responded to the criticism by commenting that a “company restructure” has just been actioned and they hope it will “provide greater transparency on our operations in London and be easier for people to understand.”

Unfortunately, the mood among the general public is less than favourable, with one hard working tax payer saying, “let’s all hold our tax until Facebook pays 10 billion in back taxes.”

That isn’t going to happen of course, because if there is one thing the government expects from all workers, whether it is an employee, self employed business owner, freelancer, or contractor, well, they expect you to pay your taxes.

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Should SMEs rethink their Internet marketing strategies?

Owners of small firms should always keep their customers in mind when they think about putting their business online, according to the founder of KKSmarts, a web promotion company.

Mike Seddon said that some firms lose sight of important things when they have a website created. The two questions they should always ask themselves are, why the website is being created and who it is being targeted to.

Well known brands will want to have the highest ranking on their brand name, whilst competitive tradesmen, such as electricians and plumbers, will want to rank highly for trade related phrases.

He went on to say that firms seem to lose sight of reality and think they will reach the whole world, rather than thinking where the customers are and how they will search for what they want on the Internet.

As well as falling down in the website design stakes, small businesses and online accountants are not leveraging the power of social media efficiently.

IFF Research’s SME Omnibus study shows that only 5% of small business decision makers use and fully exploit Facebook as a marketing tool. 18% think LinkedIn is an effective sales generating tool, but only 3% take advantage of all of its features. Twitter fares no better with figures of 17% and 4% respectively.

Mark Speed from IFF Research commenting on the findings said that social media is not necessarily the right set of tools for every business, but there seems to be a big divide between those who think it is effective for lead generation and those who actually take advantage of it.

He went on to point out that there are simple ways to engage online with customers, such as updating a company website with information that will appeal to its readers. However, the study showed that of the firms with a website, 16% update it at most once a year.

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Image: Internet Marketing Plan with red markers by IvanWalsh.com

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