The Tax Policy of Starbucks Will Probably Change

As the legal avoidance of corporate tax is a very popular topic now, The Legal Stop have learnt there is a chance that Starbucks might change the way it operates in order to stop paying corporation tax in the UK at all..

Regardless of the fact that Starbucks has almost one-third of the UK coffee shop market, researches show that it has paid corporation tax only once in 15 years.All foreign countries have to pay corporation tax on profits made in the UK and UK-based companies pay it on their taxable profits no matter where they were made.

The Public Accounts Committee chairperson Margaret Hodge shared her opinion about the work of HMRC in a report published on Monday. In her statement, she said that HMRC needed to be “more aggressive” because now the level of tax taken from multinational firms with large UK operations was “outrageous and an insult to British businesses and individuals who pay their fair share”.

The best example for this is Starbucks. It sold goods for nearly £400m in the UK last year, but in fact avoided paying corporation tax, due to the fact that they did things like transferring some of their money to a sister company in the Netherlands in the form of royalty payments, buying coffee beans from Switzerland and paying high interest rates to borrow money from other parts of the business.

This sister company in theNetherlandsis currently paid 4.7% of Starbucks’ sales but this will not help reducing the tax liability anymore. HMRC promised that in the future all international companies would pay the tax due “in accordance with UK tax law”.

Starbucks will give their opinion over the changes on Wednesday ahead of Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement. Amazon and Google were also criticized by the Public Accounts Committee’s report because they also did not pay enough corporation tax.

HMRC is promised to get £77m of new money in order to cope with wealthy people and big companies who try to avoid paying taxes.The expected result after these changes is equal to £22bn a year.

 

Deed of Grant of Easement

An Easement confers the right to one landowner to use the land of another in some way, or to prevent it being used in a certain way. Examples of easements are a right of way and a right of light.

There are certain conditions that must be satisfied before an Easement can exist:

  • There must be a Dominant piece of land (i.e. the land benefiting from the easement) and a Servient piece of land (the land over which the easement is granted);
  • The right must benefit the Dominant land;
  • The Dominant and Servient pieces of land must not be both owned and occupied by the same person; and
  • The right must be capable of being granted by deed.

Therefore, an Easement is a right enjoyed over one piece of land for the benefit of another piece of land. The nature and extent of the right must be capable of exact description, for example the right to a good view is a matter of taste which cannot be clearly defined and so cannot exist as an Easement.

There are several reasons for granting an Easement, for example, an Easement can be granted where the owner of a piece of land/property needs to cross an adjoining property/land in order to reach the public highway. This type of Easement is called an Easement of a right of way. Another example is where the owner of a property must place underground services under the adjoining land.

One of the ways to create/acquire an Easement is by Express Grant or Reservation.

If the Express Grant or Reservation is by Deed then the Easement will be Legal. Where a Deed is not used then the Easement will be Equitable if granted in writing and for value.

N.B. A “Reservation” of an Easement arises where the seller selling off part of the land takes, i.e. “reserves”, an Easement over the land being sold for the benefit of the seller’s retained land.

The Express Grant or Reservation of a Legal Easement over Registered Land (both the Servient and the Dominant lands are registered) is a registrable disposition and so is required to be completed by registration. The Express Grant or Reservation will not take effect as a Legal Easement until the registration requirements have been met. To meet the registration requirements an application to register the Easement must be made using Form AP1.

Where both the Servient and the Dominant lands are registered, a Legal Easement should be registered against both titles i.e. the burden of the easement is registered in the register of the Servient land and the benefit of the easement is registered in the register of the Dominant land.

Where the registration requirements have been met the Easement has priority over any interests created before its grant that at the time of registration of the Easement are not protected.

The Express Grant or Reservation of a Legal Easement where the Servient land is Registered and the Dominant land is Unregistered is still a registrable disposition. Thus an application to register the Easement must be made using Form AP1. The Legal Easement will be registered on the charges register of the Servient land.

The Express Grant or Reservation of a Legal Easement where the Servient land is Unregistered and the Dominant land is Registered is not a registrable disposition, so it is effective at law when made. In other words it is automatically binding and needs no registration.

We provide a wide selection of professionally drafted legal and business documents, if you are looking for a Deed of Grant of Easement template please see: http://www.thelegalstop.co.uk/Business/Deed-of-Grant-of-Easement.html

HMRC vs. the Public Accounts Committee – Round 1

HMRC needs to think about new, tougher measures for businesses, which fail to pay tax in the UK. They are called upon to do it by MPs from the Public Accounts Committee. The current line raised some concerns, due to the recent tax avoidance schemes applied by major multinational companies, such as Amazon and Google, which have paid small tax to the UK, regardless of the huge turn over they have made.

As we have already announced, tax avoidance schemes seem to be very common among multinational companies. A great example is Starbucks for example. According to the researches they have made over #400m in the UK, however as they pay royalties to a sister branch in the Netherlands, for using the brand, they paid no corporation fee in the UK, despite the huge turnover.

After revealing the schemes, a number of other big companies have come under heavy fines. HMRC was criticised for failing to manage the case and ensure the companies pay what they are required to pay in the UK.

“These global companies are making money in the UK,” said Margaret Hodge, chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee. “All we are saying is that if you have economic activities in the UK you are making profits and tax is payable on that.”

She says that the HMRC should be more “aggressive and assertive”, when it comes to fighting tax avoidance schemes, which might hurt the UK economics.

On the other hand, the HMRC replied back that all multinational companies with UK branches, pay the tax with accordance to the current laws.

Despite this, however, Chancellor George Osborne is set to announce details of a £154m fund intended to assist in dealing with tax issues relating to the affairs of large corporations and wealthier people.

The End of Misleading Supermarket Offers Has Come

A new code has been signed by leading supermarkets, aiming to ensure that the special offers are not misleading to the customers.

After a research of the Office of Fair Trading, which showed that in some cases the pricing and the conditions of a special offer are displayed in a confusing way. For that reason the OFT drawn up the new rules in an attempt to cut confusing offers.

The biggest UK supermarkets, such as Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, the Co-op, Lidl, Aldi and Waitrose voluntarily signed the new code, however Asda (The UK`s second largest supermarket) refused to do so.

According to the new rules, supermarkets should have special offers such as “half price” or “was £3, now £2″, only in cases when the offer period is shorter than the period for which the product has been sold at its original price. There are also regulations, trying to prevent forced price inflating, with the intention to make offers at at a later stage, which seem as a great deal, because of the “discount”. Also, supermarkets will not be allowed to use promotions such as “new bigger pack” or “50% more”, in case this is not actually true.

Although the OFT did not find any supermarkets breaching the law, they say they had identified “what appeared to be inconsistency in the way the law was being interpreted and applied”.

OFT chief executive Clive Maxwell said: “Household budgets across the country are under pressure and shoppers should be able to trust that special offers and promotions really are bargains.

“Prices and promotions need to be fair and meaningful so shoppers can make the right decisions.”

The news was however met with scepticism from some quarters. Bryan Roberts, insights director at Kantar Retail, said: “I think even with a new voluntary code and greater regulation it will still be incredibly confusing for consumers to ascertain what value for money looks like and what is a bargain and what is not. Even if there is a lot more transparency, most shoppers will still need a calculator to work their way around a store.”

We all hate confusing offers and we all know the disappointment that comes with them, that`s why at The Legal Stop we avoid that by all means and strive to provide you only with great offers related to legal documents and legal services, with no catch!

John Vine Crticises UKBA for Dismissing Illegal Student Warnings

IMMIGRATION officers failed to check tip-offs about potentially illegal overseas students, leaving tens of thousands free to avoid deportation.

The UK Border Agency has been criticised for not paying enough attention to over 150 000 reports from colleges and other educational institutions, informing the UKBA that certain non-EU students had failed to enroll, stopped attending their course or have been found to be in breach of their visas, which means they might be staying illegally in the country, abusing the educational system.

This information has been discovered by the chief inspector of immigration John Vile

Vine found that the UKBA had “no targets in place” for dealing with these warnings.

“As a result, notifications of changes to circumstances of students, details of students failing to enrol or attend classes, or curtailment of sponsorship were not being acted upon,” he stated. “Over 150,000 notifications had accumulated and were awaiting action, meaning that potentially thousands of students had retained leave to remain when they should not have done so.”

In a report published yesterday he said although the backlog was now cleared, failing to quickly process vital information meant thousands could have been wrongly allowed to remain in the UK.

By May this year, after a concerted push from the UKBA, the backlog has been sorted out, however Vine criticised the UKBA for dealing with it as specific operation when it should be an “outgoing priority.”

Ministers claimed  that the regulations related to student visas are now tightened up and new measures have been applied in order to the warnings by Vine`s team, who said that ” many people were entering the country on less stringent visas intended for shorter periods of study.

According to shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant, the failings at the UKBA were a demonstration that”with Theresa May running the Home Office, we are getting the worst of both worlds”.

On the other hand, immigration minister Mark Harper said that the improvements made by the UKBA have been recognised by Vine`s team, as they really toughened the rules” recently.

As we provide online legal documents, we do not need to pile up anything, that`s why now it is more than easier to get the legal or business document you need.

Contempt Laws Reviewed To Match the World of Today

The Law Commission launched a consultation on the effectiveness of the contempt laws in England and Wales.

This changes is required, as the world has drastically changed over the last 20 years with the arrival of the Internet. The new law will take into account how in some cases the use of Internet resulted in contempt of court and will also research how mainstream media and people publishing in blogs and tweets affect the court proceedings, in order to avoid any prejudice caused by this.

We talk about contempt of court, in cases, when justice has been undermined, disrespected or disobeyed  in some way. The English laws are very strict, when it comes to contempt of court, compared to other countries.

Currently jurors are not allowed to perform their own researches online on cases they are involved with., but research published in 2010 revealed that 12% of jurors in high-profile cases admitted going to the internet. They are required  to consider only the information given to them during the trial. In addition the court has the right to ban some information, related to the case participants, from the mass media and the public, considering that it might affect the jurors` opinion, even if not relevant to the case itself. Publishing some kind of materials, may be considered  as contempt of court.

Professor David Ormerod, the law commissioner leading the project, said: “The purpose of our consultation is to ask how, in a modern, internet-connected society, the law of contempt can continue to support the principles that criminal cases should be tried only on the evidence heard in court.

“We are seeking ways to protect the administration of justice and the defendant’s right to a fair trial while keeping to a minimum interference with the right of media organisations and private individuals to publish.”

The demand for these changes is high, especially having in mind  two cases with a great outcome in the media – the case of a juror, jailed for 6 months, because of doing research on the case online, in her free time and the case of two newspapers, accused and found guilty of contempt of court, because of publishing two photos online.

The Legal Stop is also a part of this ever-changing world, due to the Internet, because we offer legal documents online – something, which was impossible 20 years ago. So, take advantage on it!

Landlord Claiming to Have Only £250.00 in Savings Jailed for Benefit Fraud

A Landlord, from Bristol has been sentenced to six months in jail due to benefit fraud. Adrian Callen, 57, who owns 10 properties , has been accused and found guilty for nine offences of dishonesty and making false representations at Bristol Crown Court.

Although having such collection of properties, he claimed  £73,000 in benefits over 8 years. He bought and renovated the residences, using the rent to cover their mortgages.

His lawyer plead that the benefits claimed were in order, due to the fact that eight years ago, Callen became a sole carer of his grandson and he was not able to work. At this time, he had no savings, properties or investments. However, not long afterwards he bought a house for £38,000 in Splott, Cardiff.

Over the next four years Callen continued to buy and restore a number of properties, while claiming to have only £250.00 in savings and no properties, except his home address. However, one of his tenants made a benefit claim and Callen`s actions have been revealed.

Judge Julian Lambert described these actions of Callen as “deliberate and greedy”.

The judge also told  him: “You had a gross worth of hundreds of thousands of pounds.”What you did was deliberate and greedy. Yours was one of the worst types of this fraud. This behaviour makes honest folk who struggle to get by feel sick.”Your behaviour incites ill feeling towards genuine benefit claimants who deserve sympathy and compassion. Your claim was fraudulent from the outset.”

In defence Timothy Rose said: “He was mortgaged to the hilt, he still is, and now he’s in an utter mess as well.”It is estimated he owes up to £800,000 in mortgage debt, most of the properties are in negative equity and that’s the position investment speculations have left him in.”He’s being pursued by the bailiffs.”

He said Callen was “not a sophisticated man despite what he’s done”.

 

In stead of saving from taxes and claiming benefits, now you have the chance to save from legal documents, by using The Legal Stop and claim your way to success.

 

Disproportionate Force Against Burglars To be Legalised

Homeowners might be able to use “Disproportunatte force” if they need to defend their homes from burglars. This is the clause that is expected to be added to the crime and courts bill, which is currently under review by the House of Lords. This information has been hiven by Justice secretary Chris Grayling, who announced recently his intentions to change the laws concerning self-defence from intruders.

And on Sunday, Grayling said: “The public should be in no doubt that the law is on their side. That is why I am toughening up the current law for those who defend themselves and their loved ones. Householders who act instinctively and honestly in self-defence are victims of crime and should be treated that way.”

Currently home owners, who are victims of intruders are required to force which they genuinely feel to be “reasonable in the circumstances”, which means the new changes may seem unreasonable. This, according to legal experts will lead to difficulties related to the implementation of the proposed changes in the real world.

“It’s a vote-catcher,” said the chair of the Criminal Bar Association, Michael Turner QC. “There’s no concept elsewhere in British law of allowing anyone to use disproportionate force for pretty obvious reasons.
“It’s no surprise that a non-lawyer would come up with such a crazy
idea. Are we really saying that the police should not even investigate
cases [in which an intruder is harmed]? I can’t believe this will make
it into statute.”

Apparently, there is little evidence the changes offered to give
better protection for the victims of this kind of criminal offence.
Recent researches show that there are very few house owners, who
fought against burglars and got charged – only 11 cases for more than
15 years, with only 7 of them inclusive of domestic burglaries.

Currently, we cannot offer you a How-To-Fight-Intruders Guide book,
however we have a large variety of free and paid legal documents,
which hopefully will help you sort out a certain aspect of your life.

 

 

Prisoners may be Banned Voting

Today the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, said that there is a possibility that parliament changes the rules over voting rights in a way that prisoners may be refused legal aid to sue the government.

As there is a six-month deadline set by theStrasbourgcourt, Grayling also mentioned that MPs will get the opportunity to choose among three options concerning the voting rights of prisoners. Both

House of Commons and the House of Lords will have to make up their minds over the three options. The proposed options are:

  • a ban for prisoners sentenced to more than six months
  • a ban for prisoners sentenced to four years or more
  • a ban for all convicted prisoners

According to the European Court of Human Rights, prisoners in the UK cannot be banned voting because this will contradict to article three of the European Convention on Human Rights referring to the  the right to free and fair elections.A few weeks ago, The Legal Stop informed you about the situation:

Voting Rights For The UK Prisoners

Grayling told parliament that: ‘As lord chancellor, as well as secretary of state for justice, I take the obligation on me to uphold the rule of law seriously.’

However, he also mentioned that the parliament is the only institution that may change the current law and until this happened there was no way so that things change.

To questions on his plans against ‘ambulance-chasing compensation claims’ the justice secretary answered “I have asked the question about the use of legal aid for purposes I don’t believe our legal aid system is designed to be there for, and I hope to be bringing forward further thoughts in that area before very long.”

Grayling’s thoughts about theStrasbourgcourt are identical to those of the Labour’s former justice secretary Jack Straw. They both agree that theUKis one of the countries that need special reforms in their systems because the decisions of theStrasbourgcourt have gone far beyond the aims of its creators.

 

UK Loses Billions because of Tax Avoidance Schemes

A recent report shows that the UK loses billions just because HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are unable to control the tax avoidance schemes spread across the whole country.

By the words of The National Audit Office, HMRC was dealing with about 41,000 cases with up to £10.2bn at stake. The professionals from HMRC claim that during the last two years they had successfully contested 40 schemes.

No matter one of the main priorities of the coalition government in order to reduce the deficit in the budget is to stand against the tax avoidance, according to the NAO more than a hundred new schemes became evident each year having in mind the time between 2004 and 2011.

It is determined that 30,000 small companies or individuals use the so-called employment intermediary schemes and partnership loss schemes. This way they inflate the loss artificially using “circular loans”, which gives them the opportunity to conceal other income from tax.

Despite the fact that HMRC strives for success in this area, such cases often consume lots of time and appear to be too hard to be resolved.

Litigation has opened 110 investigations since April 2010. HMRC managed successfully with most of them but according to the NAO, this does not prove that the litigation will turn out to be an effective way to stop the schemes.

“It is inherently difficult to stop tax avoidance as it is not illegal. But HMRC needs to demonstrate how it is going to reduce the 41,000 avoidance cases it currently has open.”

The NAO also mentioned these schemes are usually used by specialist tax advisors whose aim is to prevent their clients from paying taxes.

By virtue of the law since 2004, authorities should be notified but the watchdog is skeptical about the positive results of this regulation over the scale of tax.

“This changed the shape of the market, but has not prevented some promoters from continuing to sell highly contrived schemes to large numbers of taxpayers, depriving public finances of billions of pounds.”

The chairperson of the Commons Public Accounts Committee observing the work of the NAO, Margaret Hodge, shared her opinion that HMRC have to try harder in order to clamp down on promoters of tax avoidance schemes so that some evident results appear.

“People who pay their taxes promptly and in full will be dismayed to discover that the enormous level of tax avoidance taking place is overwhelming HMRC’s efforts to combat it,” she said.

As an answer to her statements HMRC claims that their successful investigations brought to court protected about £4bn.

The spokesperson later added that the Government would help HMRC giving it more powers to obtain information and creating an anti-abuse rule in 2013.

If you are worried about your company`s tax, do not hesitate to get a legal advice online.