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to bet the boss of Amazon doesn't get warning letters from HMRC saying you owe us tax, pay now or we'll send in the debt collectors

(19 Posts)
Justanotherposter Thu 20-Feb-14 15:43:32

I bet they have a cosy chat and then Amazon or Starbucks tell HMRC what they'll decide to pay.

I have paid - but a few days late. So a nice red warning letter with the warning of debt collectors and interest payments.

One rule for them, one rule for us.

FyreFly Thu 20-Feb-14 15:47:47

Probably because they're doing it legally. They're not (technically) doing anything wrong - why would they be sent warning letters?

Tax avoidance (exploiting loopholes, using overseas accounts etc) is legal, tax evasion is not.

Lottiedoubtie Thu 20-Feb-14 15:50:15

Probably because they're doing it legally. They're not (technically) doing anything wrong - why would they be sent warning letters?

Yep this. Pay your tax on time if you don't like the letters.

And even if you were right about Starbucks and Amazon. Why would two wrongs make a right?

Justanotherposter Thu 20-Feb-14 15:52:42

I don't mind the letters. It's paid. No problem with that.

But if you owe the bank £100, you have a problem.
If you owe the bank £100 million, they have the problem. Or something like that and you get treated differently.

DrDre Thu 20-Feb-14 16:55:34

But they won't owe the bank anything because, as pointed out above, they are complying with the law.
I'm not saying the amount of tax they pay is right, but it will be legal.

Auntimatter Thu 20-Feb-14 17:31:32

No, they'll go to the tax department.

Wouldn't be surprised if they do get those letters from time to time, though. Likelihood of every single payment in every single tax regime made by a large group being both paid on time and allocated to the right period...? No admin is 100% perfect.

DoJo Thu 20-Feb-14 18:07:10

I'm not sure I understand your post - if you paid late, then you are getting a letter because that incurs automatic sanctions. Amazon or Starbucks could pay 100% tax and you would still be getting red letters, so where's the connection?

Justanotherposter Thu 20-Feb-14 18:20:46

I'm just suggesting the tone might be a bit different. That's all.

But I'm not going to get too excited about it.

Megrim Thu 20-Feb-14 18:40:38

The boss of Amazon will still be liable for tax on personal earnings, they will just have a tax adviser to ensure that their tax return is received on time.

Was the 31st January deadline a bit of a surprise to you OP?

Justanotherposter Thu 20-Feb-14 18:42:43

I did the return on time.

Just had to find the money.

Justanotherposter Thu 20-Feb-14 18:45:28

But when I do the next one this April - they'll owe me money.

Shame we just couldn't come to some kind of deal for a few weeks. grin

Tryharder Thu 20-Feb-14 20:24:31

YANBU OP.
I refuse to buy anything from Amazon for this reason.

The Government will always go after the little guys quite simply because it can. And the big corporations carry on taking the piss.

deste Thu 20-Feb-14 20:50:14

I filled in my tax return 20th January in plenty of time. It said I owed nothing but today I got in a letter stating I owed money and because it was late I had to pay a penalty. I couldn't get through to the tax office so I ended up paying it.

Lottiedoubtie Thu 20-Feb-14 20:53:22

I couldn't get through to the tax office so I ended up paying it.

This makes no sense. Why wouldn't you phone again tomorrow?

Financeprincess Thu 20-Feb-14 21:21:52

I can't bl**dy stand Amazon, which is why I don't buy from them, but...

HMRC don't just "go after the little guys...because they can". If you owe tax, you should pay it. The same goes for individuals as for businesses. I think it's very fanciful to suggest that the tax authorities neglect Amazon and its contemporaries because they prefer being cruel to 'little guy' individuals.

The 'tone' of HMRC letters doesn't need to be "please pay us what you owe, we'd be so grateful". People who pay through PAYE each month don't have to graciously grant permission for tax to be deducted from their salaries, and the same principle applies to people who pay via self-assessment.

The money HMRC collects pays for schools, hospitals, benefits, looking after disabled people etc etc. Don't bash them because you don't like being told off for paying late!

PosyFossilsShoes Thu 20-Feb-14 21:49:10

I paid mine on time and still got a red letter. I now need to phone the snivelling snotweasels and try to find out where my money went.

gimcrack Thu 20-Feb-14 21:53:11

Give the OP a break. If we don't pay what we owe, we get hounded. Big businesses get away with not paying what they owe. It may be legal, but it shouldn't be.

Eghamite Thu 20-Feb-14 21:54:01

You can't blame a company for doing what is allowed within the law. They have a duty to their shareholders.

OTOH, you have heaps of time to pay your taxes - 9 months from the close of the tax year. You only have yourself to blame if you get a penalty notice.

Lottiedoubtie Thu 20-Feb-14 21:57:06

Big businesses get away with not paying what they owe.

No they don't owe it, that's the point.

That may be immoral (I think it is) but it's not illegal.

The OP's comparison is nonsensical and suggests two wrongs make a right, that's why she's getting a hard time.

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