> If we accept your view that companies are merely 'collecting' tax for the revenue, you could equally apply the same argument to show that income tax doesn't really exist, you're just 'collecting' it from the people that pay your income.
This whole idea that corporation tax is not really a tax on consumers is so much twaddle anyway.
Taxes are all about finding excuses to extract money from people. Taxes on company profits is ultimately a tax on the the owners of the company or its shareholders. Making some sort of distinction between different taxes to make some moral statement is fruitless.
At the end of the day, whenever money moves, the government wants a cut. What people should be horrified and rightly angry about is the overall tax take by the government. We all (well perhaps most of us) accept that government is a necessary evil. We need public services. Frankly though, I don't ever remember voting for a very large quantity of my tax to be squiffed away on foreign aid, including "defence" costs abroad (the amount would stagger you, seriously), the bulk of the benefits system and the cut that the EU extracts from us. If we could just cut away a lot of that chaff, most of us wouldn't need to pay *any* tax at all.
Instead we are led by the media and politicians in righteous indignation at successful companies that are not "paying their way". Well I'm sorry guys, but we pay tax for government funded services. Exactly what government services are Google using to justify the tax that we're apparently demanding from them? Everyone has got so invested in the minutiae of the technicalities of tax rules and the idea of "fair play" that we have lost all sense of what tax should be all about. If we really feel that companies should pay their fair whack, then perhaps we come up with something a little more centred on paying for the services that companies use rather than what amounts to a tax on success?
The problem with this debate is that everyone has lost all sense of proportion.