Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

That Julian Richer Coppery, Metally, Thing On Tax

This is amusing, don’t you think, about Julian Richer?

The not-for-profit organisation is bankrolled by hi-fi entrepreneur Julian Richer and chaired by Simon Fox, who left Reach, formerly Trinity Mirror, last year. Richer, 60, was praised when he transferred 60% of his shares in the chain he created to more than 500 staff.

Companies wishing to join will be judged on 10 criteria, including whether they pay staff the living wage, promise not to avoid tax, and pay suppliers on time. They will also have to demonstrate they are reducing their impact on the environment and have an “ethical” supply chain.

Not avoiding (please note, avoiding tax is always legal, evading is not) tax produces that metally feel to the story. For of course Julian Richer’s transfer of those shares to the staff came alongside a payment to Julian Richer. That payment not being subject to taxation because of the transfer to staff.

That is, setting up a staff owned company, through a trust, the trust paying the entrepreneur for the stake, is one way of cashing out on a lifetime’s work without being subject to taxation on the income.

This does indeed avoid tax in an entirely legal and ethical manner.

Isn’t it ironic?

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4 years ago

That’s not irony. It’s fraud by deception. Unless it turns on the distinction that companies don’t avoid taxes though they may enable their founders to do so.

4 years ago

So it’s better to pay the maximum amount to the state than to say, give your employees a pay rise? Or to invest to employ more people?

Why is that morally right then?

Michael van der Riet
Michael van der Riet
4 years ago

Yeah but when you draw T-accounts, what is the other leg of the transaction? Where did the trust get the cash to pay Richer for his stake? I’m not convinced.

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