Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 4 Oct 2019.
"Sega and Sony"
Not that it affects the point in any way.
I could point out that the specific companies implicated are Sony Interactive Entertainment and Sega of America, both of which are headquartered in the US - but in truth I was thinking "US giants" when I saw WarnerMedia then corrected it to "multinationals" when I saw Sony and Sega, but appear to have kept the "US" part. I'll go fix, ta!
WarnerMedia -> Traveller's Tales [LEGO Games]
2k -> Rockstar [GTA]
Sony -> Media Molecule [Horizon: Zero Dawn]
So, Whilst most of the money probably gets squirrelled away into big conglomerate publishers' pockets, there will be UK companies/devs involved too.
You would have thought there would have been a cap on the level of tax relief given out per studio per title. But then since when has a Government tax relief program done anything but funnel taxpayers money into corporate coffers?
Didn't Rockstar get like £50 million for GTA V. You know, because of it's UK cultural significance of being set in a fictitious place in the US centred around the lives of 3 American protagonists. /s
Also GTA V is the single most profitable product of all times across every single part of the entertainment industry.
If these funds led to people in the UK having jobs or retaining them then what's the problem apart from the lack of a cap I don't see one, of course unless they were lying about how they got that relief.
It doesn't matter that a title is successful and makes money, that is business.
Read the report yourself - https://www.taxwatchuk.org/reports/gaming-the-tax-system/
Yes it matters, because the whole idea behind the subsidy was to support small UK devs so they don't get clobbered by the multi national multi billion corporations in the industry.
I don't believe that was the idea at all, it was relief to increase investment in the UK videogame industry, multi national, multi billion dollar corporations do give people in the UK jobs, they also support small UK devs.
Rockstar are a big company employing a lot of UK talent and no doubt fostering new talent etc, so why would they not be entitled.
Still not seeing a problem with Rockstar North, a British outfit taking tax relief legitimately offered, they were judged by an independent body and awarded the 'culturally British' classification.
Yes they probably should have paid some tax, but it is hard to take issue with clever accounting that avoids paying tax by finding and following the loopholes in the rules set out, that's why you pay the finance guys the big bucks, the rules clearly need to be changed/tightened up, much like all the self employed freelance/contractors I know absolutely coining it in, doesn't seem right to me as a permie on PAYE but they are working with in the rules, rules that have been left quite woolly and open to abuse.
Calling them loopholes is an admission that they were acting dishonestly in the spirit, if not the letter, of the law.
I always struggle with this logic: I fairly frequently take issue with people doing things that are technically within the rules but are also selfish or otherwise unpleasant. In a given individual one might call it being a arsehole. I don't see why it suddenly acceptable just because it is a group of people running a business. I don't expect them to be shut down if what they are doing is legal, but they can still go **** themselves.
I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that I am a freelancer, and am most definitely not coining it in. I pay every penny of tax and NI I owe, even if I'm not exactly thrilled with how Our Glorious Leaders spend it...
Completely understand, I'm not a fan either, it has been known to create a bit of an us and them environment in some places I have worked as many feel the same.
This is exactly the response they give and they are correct, they are paying everything they owe, so despite being paid large sums more than myself for doing essentially the same job, the tax profile is such that on their vast sums they will pay out a third less than myself, and it's just small business people doing what they are entitled to do within the rules afforded to them, just like big businesses do
I will probably do the same myself at some point, I want to retire early.
I too pay what i owe, and not a penny more. But I also try and ensure 'what I owe' is as little as I can legally get away with.
I'm not sure how they're doing that, 'cos aside from a few hundred quid a year off for use of home as office I'm paying the same tax I was when I was employed. More, thanks to the extra NI contributions.
Self employed NI is lower than employee though?
Contractors usually command higher earnings because it costs less for the employer, they don't have to pay employer's NI, don't have to train you, pay holiday or sick etc. and so some of that saving is (sometimes) passed on to the contractor.
Yes but it's also quite easy to, in the govts eye, be considered as not paying it at all and thus have to voluntarily pay for any shortfall/gap in contributions, esp if you want the state pension or the like.
Certainly feels like I'm paying more, 'cos I'm also having to cover the bit that would have been the employer's contribution were I still employed. Couldn't give you actual figures, though, 'cos I pay an accountant specifically so I don't have to worry about things like that.
Contractors in some industries might, for sure - but then they're definitely not paying "a third less" in tax than their employed equivalents, per @sandys.
Freelance journos, though? You'd weep if you knew how little I get for some of the stuff I do. Why do you think I'm working twelve-hour days seven days a week? It's not for my health, I'll tell you that for starters.
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