Tax Dodging......Wiggo

by Gkam84   October 21, 2012  

Firstly, I know its the Daily Fail's article, that doesn't make it untrue, just maybe elaborated Wink

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2220787/Bradley-Wiggins-accused-...

Quote:
Olympic gold medallist and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins is slashing his tax bill by using an offshore scheme branded ‘abusive’ and ‘artificial’ by the Treasury.

So he can save himself some pennies, I think good on him. If anyone complains, I think you should look at these kind of things first before individuals.

Ebay paying 1.2m for 800m sales
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20022365

Starbucks paid just £8.6m UK tax in 14 years
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19967397

So what are your thoughts on this? I do avoid certain taxes myself when I'm doing work as an agency chef, because I can claim things against my wage. If I was earning multi millions, I wouldn't really care about a few thousand here and there though.

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Im sure Bradley (who rides a bike for a living and therefore fair to say he hasnt got a MBA) didnt think this up himself.
Im sure he has 'people' who sort his money out for him and this is just one of the many loopholes these people exploit.
Tax avoiders are scum of the earth and Im sure most British pro cyclists avoid taxes by living on the continent.
If this was done without his knowledge then he should do the right thing and knock it on the head. If he knew about it then he is scum.

posted by Some Fella [744 posts]
21st October 2012 - 23:19

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I think Millar admits he had an "efficient" structure when he was at the height of his pre-confession career. A holding company in Luxembourg I think. The short answer is, all is fair in love and war vs HMRC.

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posted by jamesfifield [91 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 2:17

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Amazon paid no corporation tax on £7.6bn in sales...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/oct/21/amazon-forces-publisher...

If you want to crack down on tax avoidance you need to start on the companies, not the individuals, companies like Vodafone who agreed a reduced tax bill with HMRC because they didn't want to pay the whole thing.

I don't see why the Daily Fail is focusing on Wiggins though, most athletes (including their beloved Jess Ennis) have some form of scheme set up where their image rights are 'bought' by a company which pays the athlete an annual salary in order to reduce tax liability and make the most of what, for them, is a very short period in which they can earn the big bucks.

The same goes for footballers, if you're only earning big money for 15 years at most but want to have a certain 'lifestlye' for the 40+ years after that when you're retired you need to make the most of your earning potential.

If HMRC haven't closed down the loopholes then it's their own fault. I agree that it's not really 'right' but if I was paying millions in tax each year I'd want to cut my tax bill too.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 8:45

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Seems like legitimate avoidance. He spent most of last year on the road training in Mallorca or Tenerife, or training in Spain, plus has a lot of genuine offshore earning from winnings.

posted by fiftyacorn [91 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 9:05

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I'm a feelancer, and I asked my accountant about paying a little more tax. She said "sure, by all means, but it's more complex, and when the revenue come in to inspect me, they expect all contractors to be on the 'standard' (for her) model, and, although she didn't put it like this, exploit the same loopholes.

That said, while my employee contributions might be low, I make it up in other forms of tax through my company.

I just think crap headlines like this are the result of a slow news day - "quick, log on to companies house and find me a celeb who earns more than our readers but isn't on PAYE."

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3083 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 9:30

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.

posted by fluided [4 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 11:14

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drheaton wrote:
Amazon paid no corporation tax on £7.6bn in sales...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/oct/21/amazon-forces-publisher...

If you want to crack down on tax avoidance you need to start on the companies, not the individuals, companies like Vodafone who agreed a reduced tax bill with HMRC because they didn't want to pay the whole thing.

I don't see why the Daily Fail is focusing on Wiggins though, most athletes (including their beloved Jess Ennis) have some form of scheme set up where their image rights are 'bought' by a company which pays the athlete an annual salary in order to reduce tax liability and make the most of what, for them, is a very short period in which they can earn the big bucks.

The same goes for footballers, if you're only earning big money for 15 years at most but want to have a certain 'lifestlye' for the 40+ years after that when you're retired you need to make the most of your earning potential.

If HMRC haven't closed down the loopholes then it's their own fault. I agree that it's not really 'right' but if I was paying millions in tax each year I'd want to cut my tax bill too.

Agree totally with you, its just the British or should i say English way of knocking our heroes. No doubt the daily muck that printed the story have freelancers working for them but say nothing, just like the bbc etc etc.

All the big mobile phone companies pay no tax, the govt should have said "you want the 4G contract ? then start paying tax".

Wiggo has only done what thousands and thousands of other people have done themselves.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2698 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 12:12

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I work in pensions, and it's crazy the amount of money you need to provide for retirement. A pot of £500k nowadays might get you £15k a year if you're lucky and that's retiring at 65!

Imagine how much you'd need to sustain even a relatively modest (for a sports person) £100k a year lifestyle not from 65 but from 35. You're looking at upwards of £5m in order to cover that if not more.

Now factor in the fact that if you want to put that into a pension scheme you get taxed a huge amount on anything over £50k a year contributed and get taxed 50% on any income over £150k. That means that you may actually end up needing to earn £10m+ (pre tax) over the five years in which Wiggins is earning the big money in order to achieve that.

You may say that they don't need that income but if you have a mortgage, want to provide for your kids and remain fairly active to the level you are when working then maybe that's what you need. Either way, Wiggins now probably only has 5 years in which to earn as much as he can. Tax 'stratergies' are part of that and as Tesco say, every little helps.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 12:39

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For what it's worth though, there is a difference between tax avoidance (as Wiggins is doing) and tax evasion.

If there were no loopholes everyone would be paying full tax, or moving to Monaco.

As ever the government will probably spout something about it being better to have these companies and individuals paying some tax here than no at all but I think that's crap in a lot of cases.

The likes of Starbucks, Vodafone, Facebook, Google and Amazon are screwing EU laws in order to massively reduce tax liabilities. That's why they're all "based" in Ireland and Luxembourg.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 12:45

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Doesn't the proprietor of the Mail avoid tax by living in France?

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posted by Crosshouses [181 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 13:24

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Crosshouses wrote:
Doesn't the proprietor of the Mail avoid tax by living in France?

It won't be as simple as that, if it's earnings in the UK then tax is deducted at source (straight from Payroll regardless of residency) but as the owner he probably won't be on payroll and will be getting dividends and all sorts of other things so who knows. It's complicated and I know very little about taxation in general but taxation is not simple and sweeping statements like "living abroad to avoid tax" don't always cover the minute details of international tax arrangements.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 14:09

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My bro used to own his own business and his accountant basically said "get a receipt for everything, regardless if its for the business or not" and it gets written off the tax you pay.

He ended up paying something like 1.5% tax and thats in this country.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2698 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 14:31

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Yeah, if you run a business from home you can get tax off your utility bills and all sorts. There's plenty of ways to beat the system and plenty of people doing it. It's just that the likes of Wiggins and Jimmy Carr and doing on a bigger scale.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 14:40

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Crosshouses wrote:
Doesn't the proprietor of the Mail avoid tax by living in France?

France have higher rates of tax than the UK, so he'll most likely get paid offshore and take it out as tax free "loans"

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posted by Gkam84 [8798 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 17:19

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Tax overhaul long overdue as the pool of legitmate tax payers falls and the burdens increase.If you are trading on the UKs taxpayers hard earnt cash then you should pay tax-creating overseas bases eg Amazon Ireland shouldnt wash.Bradley earns his money overseas mostly,Jimmy Carr doesnt.Time for a realistic structure.

Nevman

posted by nevman [17 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 17:46

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firstly tax avoidence is a legal loop hole which will be shut down by the HMRC once highlighted by wealthy earners accountants. Tax evasion is illegal. both can result in fines and/or prosecution.

my better half is a tax officer so no chance for me, but if 99% of the populas was offered a scheme to pay less tax they would take it. as these star etc are just doing the best for ther families, futures etc like the rest of us. but unfortunatly as it would cost most people more to action such schemes than what they would save in tax.
only the rich can afford too and see the benefit from these tax avoidance schemes.
although i do not agree with the principal it would be difficult to refuse if i had a top class professional cyclist wage to invest and secure mine and my families future if things went badly wrong. Thinking

Pain is weekness leaving the body

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posted by road ronin [57 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 19:09

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drheaton wrote:
Crosshouses wrote:
Doesn't the proprietor of the Mail avoid tax by living in France?

It won't be as simple as that, if it's earnings in the UK then tax is deducted at source (straight from Payroll regardless of residency) but as the owner he probably won't be on payroll and will be getting dividends and all sorts of other things so who knows. It's complicated and I know very little about taxation in general but taxation is not simple and sweeping statements like "living abroad to avoid tax" don't always cover the minute details of international tax arrangements.

Sloppy work from me - I vaguely remembered that the owners of the Mail used a tax avoidance scheme but was in a hurry to go out and didn't check details.

Although Viscount Rothermere is a 'non-dom' his dividends are paid through "a Bermudan company and a series of family controlled trusts on which he pays no tax".

Source - Private Eye 1319, 27th July 2012.

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posted by Crosshouses [181 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 19:29

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road ronin wrote:
......but if 99% of the populas was offered a scheme to pay less tax they would take it.

I guess i fall into that 1% in that case.
Call me old fashioned (and a socialist) but a robust tax system is an indictor of a advanced society.
It our moral duty to pay our fair share of tax.
People who moan about paying our taxes should fuck off to another country and never be allowed to use our roads, schools, hospitals, welfare system etc etc ever again.
There are those who are happy to profit from the opportunities this country offers but not give back anything to the country that gave that living.
I am happy to pay my taxes.

posted by Some Fella [744 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 19:46

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Personally I think he's bang out of order. If the summary quoted in the original post is correct then he's purposely exploiting a loophole in the same way as Jimmy Carr and he should come clean and pay his taxes like Carr.

As for the "he's not as bad as big companies" line - that's hardly and excuse or mitigation. Its like saying why bother catching muggers when there are people committing murders.

I hate (,really hate) to agree with the PM but he's morally wrong in dodging taxes.

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posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 20:09

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TheHatter wrote:
Personally I think he's bang out of order. If the summary quoted in the original post is correct then he's purposely exploiting a loophole in the same way as Jimmy Carr and he should come clean and pay his taxes like Carr.

As for the "he's not as bad as big companies" line - that's hardly and excuse or mitigation. Its like saying why bother catching muggers when there are people committing murders.

I hate (,really hate) to agree with the PM but he's morally wrong in dodging taxes.

But he has not broken the law. He has merely had his earnings paid elsewhere, no law against that. As someone said he has not evaded paying taxes he has avoided it by other means, not an offence.

As for the PM et al, they claim for thousands and thousands in expenses so he can just go and blow it out of his arse if he thinks its wrong.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2698 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 20:17

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Sorry thats the PM can blow it out of his arse, not TheHatter - sorry Surprise

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2698 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 20:19

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stumps wrote:
TheHatter wrote:
Personally I think he's bang out of order. If the summary quoted in the original post is correct then he's purposely exploiting a loophole in the same way as Jimmy Carr and he should come clean and pay his taxes like Carr.

As for the "he's not as bad as big companies" line - that's hardly and excuse or mitigation. Its like saying why bother catching muggers when there are people committing murders.

I hate (,really hate) to agree with the PM but he's morally wrong in dodging taxes.

But he has not broken the law. He has merely had his earnings paid elsewhere, no law against that. As someone said he has not evaded paying taxes he has avoided it by other means, not an offence.

As for the PM et al, they claim for thousands and thousands in expenses so he can just go and blow it out of his arse if he thinks its wrong.

I agree that its not illegal and I'm not suggesting he should be prosecuted - just that he should be ashamed. He's done well by being bought up in this country and now its time to pay something back.

no one likes paying taxes but how else does a country pay for things like healthcare, pensions, army pensions, education. What's wiggo gonna spend it on anyway - another dodgy haircut or a guitar to pretend he's a cool rockstar?

ps no fan of the PM either and I didn't think that waa aimed at me Smile

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posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 20:38

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some fella

i do not agree with what he is doing or would i do the same but i can see it how it would appeal to these people. My wife deals with such people on a regular basis, and the stock answer is but my accountant said it is legal??

i agree if you want to live in the UK accept our laws and rule and pay what you owe, end of.

Pain is weekness leaving the body

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posted by road ronin [57 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 20:39

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Got a bit confused with the blowing out of arses thing, but regarding Wiggo's taxes I couldn't care less.

And when it comes to giving something back, his foundation and the Ride with Brad sportive are far more important and worthwhile than paying a few extra thou to George Osborne.

Noli porcum linguere

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posted by captain_slog [267 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 21:39

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If i was in the same position as him i would do the same.

My kids are my future and if by spiriting money away for them when they are older and not paying tax on it is wrong, so be it, but they come first not the tax man.

Possibly not why Wiggins is doing it but he seems to thrive on his family so i have no problem with him doing it Wink

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2698 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 22:20

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