Google, Amazon, and Starbucks are being pilloried by the UK public accounts committee for their tax policies in the UK. Is this just?
At the center of the controversy is a loophole in the tax code
that disregards a consumer’s physical presence and allows the
company to treat them as if they were physically located in another
country when they buy something. In other words, you might think
you are standing on a high street in London buying a cup of coffee,
but according to how the tax system is gamed, you are actually
standing in a different country when you make that
UK citizens, in other words, are outsourcing their spiritual
self to other countries where these companies treat them as having
a corporal presence enabling a tax arbitrage that deprives the
citizens of Britain with the taxable income necessary to maintain
the roads, networks, internet, political stability and access to
media outlets they have built up over the decades used by the
offending companies to grow sales. But it’s OK to treat a
ghost-like representation of these same citizens who are
theoretically present in these foreign territories to boost the
stock prices in these same companies.
Treating UK citizens like ghosts means they get hit twice. Not
only do they lose the tax refunds owed to them by these companies
(in the form of a higher overall tax take by the government) but
with the decrease in taxes comes fresh government the austerity
measures needed to maintain the infrastructure these companies need
to continue their parasitical leeching of untaxed revenues from the
If only British citizens ate and lived like ghosts, all would be
fine. But since they are not, real money needs to be spent for real
goods and services despite Google, Amazon’s and Starbuck’s tax
treatment of them as immaterial.
So you have a situation where Google, Amazon and Starbucks want
to use the assets paid for and built by the UK citizens (over
generations) but they don’t want to pay for access. They only want
your ‘spiritual’ representation to book sales for them in favorable
tax territories for virtually nothing in return, except maybe some
low wage serf work dispensing lattes to bankers and accountants
busy scamming you.
The government must, if it is to be considered legitimate,
introduce a tax credit to all UK households equal to the taxes lost
when big US companies game the system and treat them like
A rough calculation suggests that each British family is due a
£10,000 pound annual ‘ghost’ tax credit to compensate them
adequately for the abuse of the assets and infrastructure that is
being used by foreigners without adequate compensation.
If a British family’s tax liability falls beneath the £10,000
threshold then an outright gift of the difference should be
awarded. Any shortfall from the treasury’s ability to pay
compensation to British citizens from foreign tax abuse should be
financed by the BoE at the same rates they charge these same
companies for capital: ½% (or less if you consider Forex arbitrages
schemes used by these companies dropping their cost of capital to
The coalition government talks about the need to rebalance the
UK economy. This would be a good start. Rebalance the tax code in
ways that treat UK citizens as living, breathing contributors to
society, not accounting ghosts living in a dreary world of
austerity cuts to pay for accounting tricks by foreigners.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
This article originally appeared on : RT