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Scottish Mortgage: Google should pay 'much more' tax

Scottish Mortgage manager James Anderson, one of Google's biggest UK shareholders, has called for the company to pay more tax.

Scottish Mortgage: Google should pay 'much more' tax

James Anderson, manager of the top-performing Scottish Mortgage (SMT ) investment trust, has said that Google should pay 'much more' tax following the backlash over the company's £130 million deal with the government.

Chancellor George Osborne initially hailed the deal as a ‘major success’ but it has since been criticised by other MPs who have questioned why the figure was so low.

Anderson is among the biggest UK shareholders in Google parent company Alphabet (GOOGL.O), which is one of the top 10 holdings for the UK's biggest investment trust.

He told the Times US technology companies should campaign for a 'reasonable' rate of global profit tax of between 15% and 30%, much higher than the 3% critics have claimed Google is effectively paying.

'My take remains that it is in the long-term interests of Google and others of that ilk to pay decent rates of tax and that they and others would be best served in taking the lead in volunteering this,' he said.

'They are beneficiaries of state spending at many levels and in return they would get respect.’

Scottish Mortgage also holds Amazon (AMZN.O), Facebook (FB.O) and Apple (AAPL.O) among its top 10 holdings.

8 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Jan 28, 2016 at 15:15

I would rather have hoped that a Fund manager would understand the basics of how Companies operate. Provide they operate within the rules then their responsibility is to their shareholders and optimise the profits by achieving the best balance of price, customer service, employee benefits etc.

No one appears to argue that a football team that scores quickly from a free kick whilst the opposition is still organising themselves is misbehaving and is therefore unfair. If you don't like the way the game is played then you change the rules, not blame the players. No one moans when Andy Murray slams in an ace - as the opponent didn't get a chance to hit it back.

The Government makes the rules and then pretends the players are playing unfairly purely for political gain.

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Denis Parkinson

Jan 28, 2016 at 15:54

No doubt if companies are required to pay more tax, they will increase prices to the public in order to do so. No different to fining banks, they will then have to charge somebody (the public again) in order to make the money to pay the fine.

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Law Man

Jan 28, 2016 at 15:57

What I like about Mr Anderson's comment is that he shows it is constant to support shareholder profit, and yet deprecate companies avoiding paying fair tax.

Of course PL is correct that any business is entitled to organise its affairs to reduce tax. If it pays what is due by law, it should not be criticised.

The fault lies with governments who fail to create tax laws which achieve the desired outcome.

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Keith Cobby

Jan 28, 2016 at 16:47

I don't see how arbitrary or voluntary taxes help the situation. If it's not OK for the individual why should it be OK for large corporations.

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Jan 29, 2016 at 18:29

Keith - have you any ISAs or a pension fund ?

Too many critrics quote turnover rather than profits, and by doing so demonstrate either their ignorance or desire to mislead.

Of course the UK is a tax haven for those living in countries with a higher tax rate. Should Americans berate firms such as Rolls Royce who sell billions to them, but show their profits in the UK ?

Most tax avoidance simply defers tax - the larger retained profit either funds larger dividends or greater investment, both of which lead to greater spending and hence tax receipts.

The rules are the rules, and no one can be criticised for playing by the rules.

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Frank Frank

Jan 31, 2016 at 13:02

The government puts the loopholes in on purpose and then pretends to complain when people find them and use them. Oh ye hypocrites and pharisees.

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Jan 31, 2016 at 15:02

Frank Frank - is this a joke or do you really believe this?

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Stephen B.

Jan 31, 2016 at 15:29

UK corporation tax is set to fall to 18%. I wonder how many people would support UK companies making voluntary donations to countries with higher rates? Or that we should prevent foreign companies relocating to the UK or being taken over by UK companies?

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