Wednesday, 15 May 2019

City AM lets another one slip into its pages...

From City AM Debate:

Is the Tesco boss right to call for slashed business rates and an online tax to save the high street?

Robert Palmer, executive director of Tax Justice UK, says YES [actually he says 'no', but hey]

Since it’s likely that an online sales tax would be passed onto shoppers, what we really need is a proper shake-up of how we tax multinationals to make them pay their fair share, including by making it much harder to stash corporate profits offshore.

Business rates are also a mess. Because the current system is based on rental values, if a landlord improves a property, the value goes up and so does the tax.

The government should replace the current system with a tax based on the underlying value of the land the property sits on.

Sam Dumitriu, research director at The Entrepreneurs Network, says NO:

Online sellers shouldn’t be punished for responding to changing consumer demand by offering goods at a lower price in a more convenient manner. E-commerce platforms such as Amazon have lowered barriers to entry and enabled small and micro-businesses to cater to every obscure taste out there.

Worst of all, the reforms will do little to help struggling bricks and mortar retailers.

The evidence suggests that commercial landlords respond to cuts [in Business Rates] by raising rents, leaving shopkeepers no better off. The only retailers that will benefit are those which own large property portfolios like, er, Tesco.


ThomasBHall said...

Hence my (failed) effort at setting up an association of commercial tenants...

Matt said...

What's their fair share?

Presumably not what they are paying now. Is that because of tax avoidance (which is illegal and so risky for a large company)?

Or does it mean whatever we would like to soak them for to spunk on this weeks wacky plan?

Lola said...

Conversation 1. With local council rates department lady regarding our rates - she was surprised I wasn't moaning. Why should I quoth I? BR is a tax incident upon my landlord. She sighed, and agreed.
Conversation 2. With rep for Federation of Small Business lauding their anti BR campaign. Pointless. Completely in denial.
Conversation 3. With my landlord (who runs his business from the other floors in my building). Completely agreed with me.
Evidence 1. Local 'developer' convinced to 'develop' office building by giving 100% BR relief on all new tenancies for x years (I can't recall figure but it was more than one).
And so on...

James Higham said...

Might I suggest a land value tax?

ThomasBHall said...

Lola, are you a member of the FSB? They really are treating their renting members like idiots as I can't believe they are sincere in their position on BR.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TBH, everything is worth a try.

M, large multinationals massively evade tax, that's hardly controversial.

L, re 2, how stupid are people?

JH, you certainly may.

Matt said...

I think it is controversial that multi-nationals evade tax. Outside of the tax man conspiring to not collect revenue (too hard, legal costs too expensive) what are the reasons we don't collect the tax due?

If you mean they arrange their tax affairs to minimise what they pay then I suggest you take that up with the government and their stupid tax rules.

Also, for anyone who thinks we need to spend more on government provided services come back to me when you contribute a significant amount more to the tax man than he/she/xe has asked for and we'll have a sensible conversation.

Mark Wadsworth said...

M, you are trying to start an argument with somebody who doesn't care.

I'm a tax advisor, I'm stating facts not making moral judgmemts.

Matt said...
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