It's a crazy situation to think we've had to do it but, we've added a "We Pay Our Tax" logo to MoreComputers.com this week. Why do we feel the need to do such a thing?
Chances are you work for or run your own business here in the UK - one that pays it's corporation tax and charges VAT. The problem we have in running More Computers is that we are constantly competing with the massive international corporations who seem to be able to avoid paying their corporation tax. We are also competing with hundreds of small 'companies' (if you can call them that) who are collecting VAT but never forward it on to the VAT man.
It's a double edged sword that causes us a lot of pain. Our larger competitors have a 23% advantage - money they can invest back into their business or use to buy advertising. Then there are the smaller competitors who have a 20% VAT advantage - because they have no intention of passing on VAT.
A word of warning, you will not get a VAT invoice from many Amazon and Ebay traders, important if you are buying for your business.
So you might be thinking "Why should this bother me? As long as I get a cheap deal, that's all that matters". or thinking, "There's nothing I can do about it, it's the government who need to change the tax rules and work harder to catch the VAT/Tax dodgers". The government do need to change the rules and work harder, but in the meantime everyone in the UK is suffering as services are cut back due to the poor economic situation.
I don't have the the answer, I'll be the first to admit I've not researched the whole area as much as some people - but I do know that if the tax due on the 'real' profit made by big international corporations was paid at the same level smaller business like ours pay, there would be billions more being paid into the system.
Even more money could be added by making it difficult for rogue traders to avoid handing over VAT and stopping them folding one company to open a new one the next day (without any debt).
I appreciate it's hard to take a moral stand and choose to support UK businesses when you have to account for every penny of your dwindling funds. But if you can, we may all be a little better for it in the long run.