Anorak News | UK Uncut really don’t know what they’re talking about, do they?

UK Uncut really don’t know what they’re talking about, do they?

by | 31st, October 2012

IN a press release from UK Uncut we see this:

A report in the Times newspaper (20/09/12) outlined how 533 directors of UK companies have registered addresses in Monaco. Despite vetting by HMRC, the government has still seen fit to award several tax exiles with honours. These include the billionaire Sir Phillip Green- who avoided £285million in capital gains tax in 2005. UK Uncut activists have repeatedly targeted Green by occupying branches of his Arcadia fashion empire.

Err, no. Just no.

Here is what the allegation against Sir Philip Green is. The Arcadia fashion empire is owned by a company which is owned by his wife, Tina, Lady Green. The company declared a special dividend back in 2005 and this went to Lady Green. If the person receiving that dividend had been resident in the UK for tax purposes then the tax payable by that person on that dividend would have been £285 million or so. As Lady Green does not live in the UK no tax was payable. That’s the allegation: that this ownership of the company, Lady Green living outside the UK, it’s all just a sham to make sure that Sir Philip doesn’t have to pay tax.

Now, as to the reality here. There might well be some manouevering that has gone on. Who the hell knows? But the company that owns Arcadia was owned by Lady Green before it bought Arcadia. So there’s been no transfer of assets at any time.

Not that this makes any difference for transfers between husband and wife are tax free.

Secondly she is not British. She is South African and lives in Monaco. She is therefore neither resident nor domiciled in the UK for tax or any other purposes. She simply does not owe UK tax at all. For we don’t tax foreigners who live in foreign on their dividends from UK companies. Why should we?

Thirdly Arcadia itself pays UK corporation tax on its profits. There is no tax dodging there at all.

Fourthly, Sir Philip is resident in the UK for tax purposes. He pays standard UK income tax on his salary.

Fifthly, if you want to say that well, they’re married so really all the money is his so it should be taxed…..well done, you’ve just decided to revert to the pre-1980s tax system when women were just chattels of their husband. How very feminist of you. Parliament deliberately decided that no, women were and are economically equal to men. They get to own their own stuff, make their own money, and get taxed on it as individuals, not mere appendages of the man they happen to shag.

And sixthly, absolutely none of this at all is about capital gains tax as UK Uncut seem to think. There was no sale of an asset therefore there was no capital gain to be taxed. This is about income tax on dividends. Which, as above, we don’t charge to foreigners living in foreign.

UK Uncut really, really, don’t know what they’re talking about. Which is somewhat sad, for there are things wrong with the UK tax system. But for all their campaigning Uncut are just simply ignorant of how the system does work. And I’m afraid this is true of all the examples they have used: Barclay’s, Starbucks, Vodafone, the lot.

They just don’t know what they’re talking about.


Posted: 31st, October 2012 | In: Key Posts, Money Comments (12) | TrackBack | Permalink