Reply to post: Corporations should pay no tax at all on their profits

Woz says 'Jobs started Apple for money' – then says it must pay 50% tax like he does

Warm Braw Silver badge

Corporations should pay no tax at all on their profits

If you could treat the entire world as a single economy. there would be a "logical argument that corporations should pay no tax" because, as you say, the money lands up in the end in the pocket of some identifiable human.

However, the world isn't a single economy and the problem with this approach is that the profits generated, say, in the UK end up as tax revenue in the domicile of the shareholder. Which in reality is no better than the tax revenue ending up in Luxembourg or Ireland if the shareholders are predominantly in a different tax jurisdiction.

And, incidentally, the shareholders of Apple have historically preferred to get their money through speculative increases in Apple's stock value rather than in dividends because the tax treatment of capital gains was more favourable.

And let's not assume that "logic" is the aim of taxation: it's the maximisation of revenue and the minimisation of resistance. You earn income, you pay income tax, you pay national insurance, which is just more income tax, you pay sales tax/VAT out of your taxed income, you pay fuel duty for your petrol and excise duty on your car and pay VAT on the duties, you pay tax on interest on money you've saved out of taxed income and if you accumulate enough taxed income during your lifetime you pay a further chunk of tax on it when you die. You could replace all of this with a simple sales tax or income tax but the headline rates would be so eye-watering that there would be riots. Successful taxation is the art of frog-boiling.

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