342 posts • joined Friday 17th July 2009 10:41 GMT
Re: One part of this article doesn't make sense
Yes, the Corporation of London *is* effectively just that in this country. That square mile is not beholden to Parliament. That's a worrying thought.
As long as their office that generates the bulk of the sales is registered SOMEWHERE in the EU, all's fine. Whether that's at 12.5% corporation tax in Ireland, or 23% tax in the UK, or any other tax anywhere, all's good. :-)
100% legal, yet so easy to fix...
There are several countries who have had this problem... For example:
The IRS's requirement to withhold tax from a salary/payment requires a social security number. You only require an SSN if you are resident in the US, or a US citizen (and yes, corporations have something similar to an individual's SSN). You can happily work for a US corporation and be paid a splendid US salary but pay not a single cent in taxes to the US by not being resident in the US.
Now, if your country's tax laws were written such that only income earned locally needed to be taxed, then you effectively paid zero percent tax. Welcome to the Bahamas International Business Corporation (IBC). And, before the Bahamas changed their law which required the directors of the corporation to be publicly named (and in doing so eradicated the benefits of an anonymous tax shelter), you had a perfectly legal US bank account on which you didn't need to pay any tax, especially when that account was in the name of your IBC with you as signatory authority.
Unfortunately, laws have not quite moved on with the times, and chances are that in Ireland, the laws are still written such that only locally registered companies will be liable for the full rate, and in the US, depending on the state, the laws are written in such a way that no taxes (or just nominal taxes like a fixed amount) will be payable by companies registered who do not do any business in the state they are registered in.
So if Ireland changes its law to say "if you are not registered in this country but you are headquartered here, you will be considered tax resident here", Apple *will* be required to pay full whack on its international income in Ireland at the required rate (and Ireland is $9.5billion richer). This would be identical to how the UK considers people to be tax resident.
I say Ireland because they are more likely to get their law changed than several US states (like Delaware or Nevada) who have hundreds of thousands of corporations registered there who only pay nominal taxes and do business elsewhere.
It's a nice building, must say, but I like the one in Harwell more. :-)
"Emptier" but more fun (how can science not be fun). ;-)
*cue the Bombardier Beer ad here*
This is exciting news... can't wait to see how it pans out :-)
Re: this is arguably the only way they can make sure you are you and your card purchase is legit.
Davidoff, you'll find that Apple does this too, in addition to the request for address verification for very high-value items. Once they're satisfied once that you are who you say you are, they'll flag it and you don't have any other issues.
When you change cards on your Apple account and immediately try to buy a high-value item, be prepared to have the 'fraud alert' trigger again.
When it comes to contracting...
There are some schemes which, whilst perfectly legal, are sailing a bit close to the wind.
Of course, it does not help that the accountants in question insist that receiving 89% of your gross earnings through dividends, tax breaks and bare minimum PAYE and NI is sooo much better than the 80% you might get back through a very sensible and practical umbrella/HMRC-approved system. When it comes to those kinds of small differences, I'm happy to take a hit and be conservative and know that when HMRC goes looking, I'm not at the sharp end.
Just reading http://www.tax-hell.co.uk/ is enough to put me off funny accounting shenanigans. Be afraid, be *VERY* afraid of the HMRC. They have more powers than they should and know very well how to abuse it.
Apple is not unique...
Other retailers have done this. You don't need to send them a statement that shows transactions... you can blank out the transactions if you want, blur them or whatever. All they want to see is what you're already being asked by other retailers. I am not surprised when some company insists that I provide a utility bill and/or bank statement along with driving licence to prove who I am. Blank out all unnecessary information, and you're sorted.
That an online vendor does it is somewhat unusual, but considering that this retailer (Apple) has been hit a lot with fraudulent transactions (generally purchases of their goods with cloned cards, which then get cancelled and Apple left out of pocket), this is arguably the only way they can make sure you are you and your card purchase is legit.
Re: I'll give it a pass
The Samsung 830 is arguably rock solid. One reason why I've avoided several well-known brands is because of their use of the Sandforce controller. Marvell, hmmm, perhaps. Samsung makes *all* their parts, the NAND chips, the controller, and firmware...
Re: Great as long as you don't use it much.
150GB/month (give or take) = 1800GB/year = 9000GB over 5 years. That's what... 9 TB? Doesn't come close to the 72TB yet... ;-)
Re: No network = No Work
You'll be surprised how many financial conglomerates still have ancient systems around. And they don't necessarily have to be connected to the Internet to do their work. I remember an old Windows 98 box over at a certain bank near Warren Street, which was *not* Internet connected. It was connected to a modem, and that was its sole purpose... to manage that modem.
Re: forced obsolescence, Apple douchebaggery
@asdf, would you mind sharing what you did? :-)
Dear ForthIsNotDead, the nature of US tax law is such that corporations in the US (as US citizens) pay taxes on domestic profits in the US as per normal. Their subsidiaries overseas pay taxes in their appropriate jurisdictions (i.e an Irish subsidiary pays tax in Ireland). This is where that double-Dutch sandwich thing that Amazon, Starbucks, Google etc are accused of, comes in.
The IRS will require any profits repatriated to the US to be taxed at the appropriate tax rate in the US, however, if the profits have been taxed already at a lower rate (like in Ireland for example), the corporation must pay only the difference between the taxes due to be paid and the taxes already paid, provided the country where the profits are repatriated from has a double-taxation agreement with the US. So if 'corporation tax' is set at say 40% in the US, and the same (or equivalent) tax in Ireland is 15%, then the corporation is required to pay the difference, i.e. 25% of the repatriated profits.
For any accountant it is a no-brainer to see the benefits of selling bonds at 4% interest to a consortium of banks instead of paying the US government 25% in taxes. The 4% interest is an expense in the end and reduces their tax liability. The 25% in taxes is not.
Twitter is working on 2FA. :-)
I could've told you that...
I was a die-hard Nokia user for a decade or so before they started to lag behind with touchscreens and the like.
Would I go back? Perhaps. But switching networks just to get 'that' phone, nahh. I'll happily stay on the same phone too for years, if it does what I want it to do.
Re: People moaning about the cost of Apple hardware
@AC with Acer Ferrari: I've still got my 2006 MacBook (not Pro) running fine. Sure, it cost me £600 second-hand, but 7 years for a consumer devide that's used for a minimum of 8 hours every single day is not bad going.
Re: Mach 1.2?
@John Smith 19, have you read Brian Trubshaw's The Inside Story? Awesome book. :-)
Re: Kids should NOT be allowed.
Children? You assume they are kids.
Holly and Sam Branson are adults. They might be his children, but they are grown up children who can make (and have made) decisions on their own.
Re: Justice and The Law
It's possible that she retained 'the best in the business' who are expensive by virtue of being 'the best in the business'. Now if she was offered a no-win-no-fee option and didn't take it, that's between her and her lawyers. Ahh well...
I have no problems whatsoever using an iPad for work. Mind-mapping, working on straight-up documents (not the ones with fancy templates etc), memos, notes, drawings... yep, works for me. Granted, it's not always easy, but it's better than sitting there annoyed because you can't make the notes/memo/change you want because you don't have the laptop with you. And I definitely don't want to lug the >3 kg of 17" laptop with me just for the off chance.
Nope... the 1.5 lbs and 10 inches will do me nicely, plus instant-on and ability to browse when I'm in a hotel without needing the whole shebang works for me. I don't have games on the iPad (I don't play anything), but I do have video and music (and lots of books).
Yeah, yeah, downvote it already.
Re: Hilarius stuff.
Indeed. This is something that various organisations have pointed out.
The failure by the police forces to apply existing laws to the various breaches by the journalists accused says more than this faffing about with a Royal Charter hammered out in a back room in Whitehall on a Friday evening without the participation of those the Charter is to apply to.
As much as I would love to see a regulator with teeth, the backroom deal between Labour, the Lib Dems and Hacked Off was a farce. Apply the law, that's what it's about!
Journalists in various countries with less... err... liberal press regimes (notably in near Asia and Africa) have already pointed out the irony in Britain preaching on about a free press in their regions, yet wanting to reign their own press in with state regulation of sorts. Journalists particularly in Africa are cringing at this.
It's the classic LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA with fingers in the ears syndrome.
The amount of stupid decisions made whilst suffering from said syndrome is quite frankly staggering.
Tim, unfortunately logic (which is what you're using) does not factor into some of the boneheaded decisions made by managers on the quest for 'improving the bottom line'. Customer goodwill does not have an immediate monetary value, and does not factor into equations (although, as you so eloquently point out, it should).
Your example would assume that someone actually wrote a piece of software that allows you to do this kind of job elegantly and efficiently. The reality is unfortunately somewhat different.
Tim, as much as you would think it would make sense to have a team of people looking at why DDs were declined, it does not make commercial sense to, especially considering that most companies (including media providers like Virgin Media) retry again a few days later.
I'm not saying that under no circumstances should humans be used (I would in fact very much prefer seeing human intervention/supervision on failed payments), but in this world of counting and chasing pennies for the bottom line, having to pay someone £20K/year or more to do this 'just in case' is not a viable business case.
Sorry, but that's the reality.
See previous responses that point out that bill generation is usually not even seen by a human.
If you don't give the system something like a trigger that will flag this kind of thing up, then it can't really trigger it, can it? And triggering *every* DD that failed would be daft.
Who knows what the banks provide as standard response for 'account holder deceased'... is that text that can be modified or is it an industry-standard response (i.e. provided by APACS)? If it's not an industry-standard response, what do you expect an automated system to look for?
Re: Headline misses
And you call yourself a journalist? Just kidding. Pithy headlines are an art that most of us can't master.
Re: World's First?
Indeed. The Microdrive was the first...
@AC, Apple is becoming a manufacturer again by assembling the 'new Mac Pro' in the US. :-)
Re: The blog
To be fair, every idiot driver would be an accident prevented. Sounds like you need your licence taken away too...
Yeah, downvote this...
We've told the government this time and again... yet their response was:
With the obligatory fingers in the ears, of course.
For Version 1.0, that's pretty nifty!
From a company perspective...
Company lawyers get *very* twitchy when there is no licence attached to something you're using. At a previous employer, we had the inevitable exercise two builds or so before release where the lawyers would send around a sheet asking for confirmation that licences applicable to the previous release/project involving components from t'Interwebs were still applicable, and if any new components were added, what the licences for those were.
If you didn't have a licence for it, you had to explain yourself, and it had to run the gauntlet of being discussed by the legal team. Even shared components from Microsoft etc had to be checked and the appropriate licences found, annotated and documented.
It's all a risk-management exercise, especially with commercial software.
Re: BBC Android developers are incompetent.
Sorry Steve, you are incorrect. When you access iPlayer on a show that is currently being broadcast, you get that warning, but not on shows that are already archived. :-)
The TV licence only applies to watching content being watched live.
Re: And the Windows Phone version
@cornz 1 - Channel 4 makes a big deal out of the fact that 4oD is available on WP 8.
So all's not lost. :-)
I'm happy to join Apple to say...
Not because it's Apple, but because it's Facebook (the age-old adage "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" applies).
We like this...
... We like this very much. :-)
They always get stuck with the hot potatoes... :-)
Re: Good to see a UK IT success story
Sorry, what exactly does this have to do with Maggie Thatcher? Or are you just riding the Thatcher bandwagon for the sake of riding it?
It was the BLADE-OFF event of a Trent 900 that I was referring to. Ever seen one? It's impressive when it goes BOOM.
So seeing a Williams F1 KERS flywheel go BOOM would be interesting too :-)
Re: Every so often a market develops around something improbable
Sorry to disappoint you, but uranium is not that valuable either. Areva is shutting uranium mines because of the depressed uranium price.
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