It seems that lately tax is on a loop in the news, from corporations to healthy critics bringing up tax for debate. So what’s changed? Below we’ve had a look at some of the top interesting, worrying or bizarre tax stories of the past month or so, starting with the scandalous goings on with Facebook corporation payments…
£4,327. That’s the total amount of corporation tax that the giant Facebook paid for the entirety of 2014. Just to put that into perspective, the average UK employee on an average UK salary will pay a total of £5,392.80 in tax each year.
Facebook has defended itself by stating that they comply with the UK law completely, and suggesting that the problems and corruption here lie within our current tax code. You can read all about this on the BBCs news website here. It’s certainly worth a read.
How will this affect me? Apart from annoyance, distrust and perhaps shock, there’s not much about this story that will have an effect on your own life. Our next story however…
We realise it’s been quite a while since the summer budget 2015 (you can read our summary blog post here), but the effects of some of the changes are only just starting to make themselves known. Yes, we’re talking about the so called “Death of Buy-To-Let” as the Telegraph has dubbed it. The changes that will be introduced in 2017 are highly complex, but the jist of it means that higher-rate tax payers will pay a lot more tax, with some basic-rate taxpayers being hit too.
What exactly does Mr Osborne want to introduce?
We strongly urge you to contact your accountant, mortgage lender, broker or other professional to get advice to plan for the future.
European tax rules and regulations are strict, and when they are broken it is almost certain to make the news. It was only earlier this week that the BBC released an article detailing how big companies Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler must pay back up to £22m after illegally breaking the rules. While further investigations into Amazon and Apple continue, both accused companies have expressed their disagreement with the commission, Starbucks especially has gone as far as to appeal against the decision.
The specific techniques that these firms have been using are dubbed ‘transfer pricing arrangements’ that allow them to shift profits abroad. This was the case with Starbucks. Fiat, however, only paid taxes on seriously underestimated profits.
What does this mean for you? Not much other than something else to read about and sigh. You can read all about it here.
If you read this weeks News Round-Up you’ll already have heard TV chef Jamie Oliver’s response to the debate on introducing a sugar tax. But it goes beyond this: there are plenty of professionals as well as public health chiefs trying to advise the health secretary to introduce a sugar tax as a way to tackle child obesity among many other health problems.
It has been pointed out that a fizzy drinks tax in Mexico has resulted in a 6% fall in consumption. The point of the tax is to push people towards making healthy lifestyle choices leading to increased health benefits. The tax rate that is being suggested is currently 20% – this could raise up to £1bn a year! Read the full story at the BBC here.
Yet another parliament debate about Conservative tax changes has featured in the news
this week, this time it’s tax credit cuts that have come under fire. The aim of cutting the credits is not only to free up more money, but also to encourage people to find jobs by raising pay (i.e. the national living wage). There are worries that this could cut off a lifeline to those in desperate need of the welfare to survive. You can read the whole story here.
In the mean time, here are a few money saving posts and tips to get the most out of your insurance, mortgage and other finances.