Have we done Bernie Ecclestone yet?
Apparently there is an overrepresentation of leftist big hitters on here at the moment, (so sayeth the ukip bus thread).
So without pretending to be big or a hitter, I am helping out today switching sides for a bit.
Bernie is a national institution who has brought untold millions into the country. HMRC need to be understanding of the risk of him fleeing the UK and taking his ball with him, so need to cut him some serous slack like they have done with all those other institutions and people that have helped make our country what it is today. Vodaphone, Starbucks, Amazon, Cameron’s dad, where would we be without them all? So give Bernie a break and be thankful for his hard work you bunch of bleeding-heart handwringers.
Oooh that was nice. How did I do?Posted 3 years agomrblobbySubscriber
From the BBC article…
He says he has always paid his fair share of tax and that he is “proud to be British and proud to make my contribution by paying my taxes here.”
Funny how the rich and famous seem to think they can decide what their “fair share of tax” is 🙂
Edit… oh and I’d be surprised if £10M even covers the HMRC investigation bill.Posted 3 years ago
HMRC, which has faced severe criticism over its willingness to do “sweetheart deals” to settle disputes with big business and the super rich, said it did not discuss individuals’ or companies’ tax affairs.
It added: “The settlement of all disputes is governed by HMRC’s published litigation and settlement strategy, which ensures that we only settle for the tax that is owed and which would otherwise be achieved through litigation.”
So did the HMRC let him off or decide that he had followed the letter of the tax law enough that they could not extract more tax and therefore drew a line under it?Posted 3 years ago
MSP – Member
Bernie is a national institution who has brought untold millions into the country of Lichtenstein
There, that’s much more accurate now.
Doh, failed at the first hurdle! This ‘not being a lefty’ and ‘arbitrarily oppositional stance’ business is maybe harder than i first thought. 😕Posted 3 years ago
So, politicians under advice and guidance of HMRC, make law
That law allows Bernie to, perfectly legally, hand ownership of assets to wife, without incurring UK tax liability
That law then allows them to, perfectly legally, move these assets one of the family’s trusts in Liechtenstein (tax haven), without incurring UK tax liability
HMRC then say ‘aha, we’re investigating you, because you handed the ownership of these assets to your wife, and then transferred them to family trust in Lichtenstein, and if this was illegal you would owe us 1.2 billion quid”
HMRC then say ‘right, we’ve investigated you, and it turns out that the law, as written by politicians under our advice and guidance, says you actually were allowed to do this, so you don’t owe 1.2 billion quid, you owe us ten million’
Bernie pays Ten million
Politicians, who under the advice and guidance of HMRC wrote the tax laws that permitted him to do this, say that he shouldn’t have been allowed to do this.
Government, who were not in power at the time the whole thing happened, get accused of doing it to look after their mates.
I blame ThatcherPosted 3 years ago
missed the bit where the government who were in power at the time then complain about it as if they had nothing to do with it.
The shadow attorney general, Emily Thornberry, questioned the settlement and has called for HMRC to reinvestigate Ecclestone’s tax affairs.
ninfan – Member
Someone tell derekfish that the balance is being restored.Posted 3 years ago
Tbf ninfan that is a way better argument than my effort. Though from your post it sounds like we should not blame thatcher, but blame hmrc for either advising the then government in this way on this law, or wasting time and taxpayers money investigating and not realising sooner that bernie was not behaving as unlawfully as they thought he was, being as they so very recently advised on those very rules.tpbikerMember
Its not really Bernie that I have the issue with. If hes got away with doing it legally then fair play, you don’t get rich by always doing whats morally the right thing.
My issue is with the fact that the rules allow him to get away with it, whilst the little person gets stung at every turn.Posted 3 years agofunkrodentSubscriber
Time for an anecdote methinks (it’s nearly going home time after all) albeit with only partial relevance to the thread 🙂 . A few years ago had quite a few beers with the Marketing Director of one of the big Formula One teams. He was kind enough to share some insight into Mr Ecclestone’s negotiation ploys with the owners. In brief, when one was being uppity in a meeting to discuss contractual terms, he requested a brief chat in private with the owner in particular. Five minutes later the two returned and the previously difficult owner was Bernie’s NBF, albeit a slightly haunted and shaken NBF. The good news is that Bernie got his way and the owner’s kids were free to continue their education and live happy and productive lives.
I believe said owner exited Formula 1 fairly soon afterwards.
All told one might conclude from this that he is an extremely nasty piece of work with some even nastier friends.
If HMRC git £10m out of him whilst retaining limbs and family they should be warmly congratulated. Hopefully the Krauts will throw away the key…Posted 3 years ago
blame hmrc for either advising the then government in this way on this law, or wasting time and taxpayers money investigating and not realising sooner that Bernie was not behaving as unlawfully as they thought he was, being as they so very recently advised on those very rules.
That would be a very cynical outlook – going down that path might even lead you into the realms of questioning the whole ‘Vodafone six billion tax bill’ – which was calculated on the basis of HMRC interpretation of the controlled foreign company tax regime, (again, laws created and enacted by politicians under advice and guidance of HMRC) where yes, you guessed it, HMRC’s interpretation of the law they helped write and enact was in contravention of existing EU law on the freedom of establishment, laws that were signed up to by politicians under advice and guidance of HMRC… Leading to HMRC accepting a much smaller sum rather than fighting in court…Posted 3 years ago
.That would be a very cynical outlook
Where you quoted me you missed off the first part of the sentence:
Though from your post it sounds like we should not blame thatcher, but blame hmrc
…so yes if you say so; it still sounds as though you really want to blame hmrc then, and it looks as though you think they might have ‘form’ for this: poor advice leading to poor legislation and then their own poor interpretation of the laws they poorly advised on in the first place. At great confusion to politicians, press and (actual! 😉 ) taxpayers.
No point in bringing the present government, the previous one or thatcher into it.Posted 3 years agomeftyMember
I have negotiated a few settlements with HMRC, headline numbers not as high as Eccelestone but settlements of the same order. There are lots of reasons for settlements, HMRC not realising how badly drafted law is, complete misunderstanding of the commercial reality, fear of mad judge risk, political pressure to bring in money etc etc. The media is unlikely to have sufficient information for anyone to make an informed judgement – the so called experts who comment do it for publicity – the top guys don’t need publicity.
P.S. For balance, a friend of mine has dealt extensively with Eccelestone. While admitting he is brutally straightforward i.e blunt, once you shake hands with him the deal is done, he sticks to his word and delivers what he says he is going too and as a result he is great to do business with.Posted 3 years ago
Julianwilson – Not quite , I think that HMRC are only as much to blame for advising and enforcing it so poorly as the politicians are for enacting overly complex and highly technical legislation that can’t be consistently enforced, and then jumping up and down castigating people for utilising the very rules they create!Posted 3 years agowobbliscottMember
Ok, he’s evoided a shit load of personal tax, but on the other hand single handidly created a world-wide multi-billion pound industry that employs thousands of people in the uk, generated loads of uk company owned patents, and has earned the uk far more than £1bn in exports and tax revenues in just the high tech cutting edge industries that a lot of people say is lacking in the uk. I’m struggling to think of many other individuals who can lay claim to an accolade anywhere close. I can see how he feels justified in feeling he’s contributed his fair share to UK plc.
It’s different case to some dodgy double glazing salesman doing cash deals. He needs to pay his fair share of taxes but it’s not clear what his fair share is with the current tax rules that are so easily avoided. A clear case for the need for our tax rules to be completely overhauled.
As an individual he’s clearly a greedy, power hungry, uncompromising, unpleasant type of character. But you need to be to succeed…show me anyone else who’s succeeded at that level who isn’t. I’m not cut out for that which is why I’m condemned to a life of mediocracy trapped in the dullness of middle-management!Posted 3 years ago
Where did the politicians get the idea for such highly technical and overly complex legislation in the first place ninfan? Generally since they are so rarely experienced in any way in the departments they end up running (to find the last health secretary with any background in health or social care prior to their appointment for example and you go back 20 years or so), politicians simply cannot understand the subtleties of the departments they try and run, and either do what the civil servants tell them, or try and run them with blunt instruments and policies that sound good in press releases, surely? The level of complexity you so eloquently describe sounds decidedly unlike the creative thoughts of any of the governments of the last 20 years.
But since you seem to feel the need to politicise this, I note that this has been a clearly hot topic almost since the last general election, and it puzzles me that in the midst of so much other fiscal reform, and so many other unmandated and somewhat idealogical pieces of legislation that voters for neither blue nor yellow parties knew about, the present government has not found the time to do anything about tidying these rules up a bit.Posted 3 years ago
I don’t think I’ve politicised anything Julian – the politicisation was complete several years ago.
politicians simply cannot understand the subtleties of the departments they try and run, and either do what the civil servants tell them, or try and run them with blunt instruments and policies that sound good in press releases, surely?
Nothing stopping a politician (Labour or Tory) turning round at any time in the cycle and saying ‘this is gibberish, go and rewrite it so even an idiot like me can understand it’Posted 3 years agomeftyMember
But since you seem to feel the need to politicise this, I note that this has been a clearly hot topic almost since the last general election, and it puzzles me that in the midst of so much other fiscal reform, and so many other unmandated and somewhat idealogical pieces of legislation that voters for neither blue nor yellow parties knew about, the present government has not found the time to do anything about tidying these rules up a bit.
They have easier said than done – when I started in the late 80s, there were two volumes of legislation, there are now 7.Posted 3 years agokonabunnyMember
single handidly created a world-wide multi-billion pound industry that employs thousands of people in the uk
Rubbish – he’s organized a car racing league. There was car racing before he came along, there is car racing where he doesn’t operate, there would be car racing without him.Posted 3 years ago
The topic ‘Have we done Bernie Ecclestone yet?’ is closed to new replies.