* Posts by SD24576

28 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Jul 2012

Twitter, Facebook and pals keep BEELLIONS from treasury with exec pay tax break – report


Re: Reasonable principle

At least in the UK, there are caps on the tax efficient schemes, some of them very small (a few grand per employee for some of the schemes) and some are larger caps on the size of the overall scheme.

A quick summary can be found here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/bimmanual/BIM44010.htm

I can't speak for the US of course, which is no doubt where a lot of this is happening.


Well if the company paid cash out to the same value, it would also get a tax 'break' because it would be a deductible expense (ignoring complications like NIC).

The employee will often pay tax, usually on exercise of the share option. Where it is tax exempt, such as with an EMI scheme, there are limits in place on the overall size of the scheme and conditions on the type of company and employee so the reliefs are targeted.

It may not be the average shopfloor worker in a large 'production line' manufacturing company that gets these options, but in my vaguely related professional experience the share options are often available to a very wide range of employees, especially where the company deals in services or is relatively young. Granted, the directors may get more beneficial share options than the rest of the firm, but then they'd get more cash if it was abolished, so c'est la vie.

I guess I'm just not sure the outrage is justified. There really *are* policy goals of encouraging share ownership, it's not just a plot by HMRC to collect less tax.


Re: The downside of atheism

This isn't some tax wheeze that those terrible tax-avoiding companies are taking advantage of though - this is a specific piece of tax legislation that has been introduced (many years ago now) to encourage companies to give their staff a stake in the businesses they work for as part of their reward package.

It's completely up-front with HMRC receiving forms each year detailing exactly what's going on and with the most beneficial arrangements only available on schemes that have been specifically approved by HMRC.

Effectively the company is giving away something valuable (a stake in itself) and getting nothing in return, so it's easy to see why a government might think some tax relief is in order to encourage this behaviour.

The relief is restricted to situations where the employee has actually benefited (because the exercise price is higher than the option price) so there's limited potential for abuse.

Do Not Track W3C murder plot fails by handful of votes


If all the browser makers are aligned on the pro-DNT side, can't they unilaterally only display ads that are known to be compliant with DNT if it is enabled and forget what the ad-monkeys want?

First Lavabit, now CryptoSeal pulls the plug: VPN service axed


Re: The biggest problem is *not* the technical one.


They're up to the same tricks though.

Reports: NSA has compromised most internet encryption


I guess the knowledge of backdoors in common encryption products etc does reiterate the importance and value of open source software.

Bank man: System's down, let's have coffee. Oh SNAP, where's all the CASH?


Re: Banks???

Any link to this please?

'Symbolic' Grauniad drive-smash was not just a storage fail


Re: No Suprise.

Did you sue them?

SUSE Linux tunes up for latest iron with SP 3


Btrfs over ext4

Interesting that they're supporting btrfs over r/w ext4 - does that mean it's considered 'production ready' now?

Fedora back on track with Schrödinger's cat


Re: umlaut

You will enjoy this bug then:


"Fedora 19 bugs cannot be reported because the server side cannot handle the release name "Schrödinger's Cat" "

Former QiComm CEO cleared in money-laundering case

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Re: So you're a banana

You've clearly never tried to do business in France...

Never mind your little brother - happy 10th birthday, H.264

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Fascinating, thank you.

Game designer spills beans on chubby-fancying chap with his stolen Mac


Do you have one of these newfangled police crime commissioners in your area? Sounds like just the sort of thing they'd leap on to show they're 'making an impact'.

Operators look on in horror as Facebook takes mobe users Home


Re: Why would anyone want this?

Just FYI, you can reply to the facebook notification and it will be added to the conversation on the facebook website. No need to activate your phone's FB integration.

Curiosity succeeds – Mars was wet enough for life!


Re: So... what happened to te water?

There's tons of water on Mars, just either frozen at the poles or trapped under the surface. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_on_mars for more details.

Google sends Street View car into Fukushima dead zone


Still waiting for Lewis Page's article backtracking on his claims of how it was all overblown and would have no significant effects. That 5km scale mark is pretty small - this is a significant and large area that has effectively been rendered uninhabitable as a result of the disaster. (Disclaimer: I still believe in nuclear power as a viable energy source, just that the triumphalist tone of his repeated articles around that time got a bit wearing)

Brocade: California taxman took off with our profits


Actually a company can have a deferred tax asset or a deferred tax liability. It's an accounting mechanism to 'smooth' out the impact of timing differences, where the tax code starts taxing things in a different way to the accounting standards. Without accounting for deferred tax, these differences would lead to unexpected volatility in your profit & loss account, so a company recognises a deferred tax asset or liability on its balance sheet, then unwinds that against the current tax differences in future years.

If the accounting and tax code differences will benefit you in the future, you can recognise a deferred tax asset; if you'll be worse off in the future, you recognise a deferred tax liability.

In this case, it looks like the company had a deferred tax asset that was no longer going to crystallise a benefit in the future due to the recently changed law - hence they reduce the asset. Cr Deferred tax asset (B/S), Dr Tax charge (P&L). It's not a cash tax or a mistake with their tax calculation for the year.

Big biz, expensive beancounters write UK tax law, says senior MP


Re: The last thing we need...

The bar is set higher for the patent box than you might think - patents filed in countries that have vacuous patent regimes do not qualify for the regime (e.g. the US is excluded) - there is a short list of qualifying jurisdictions where there is a requirement to demonstrate innovation.

The large tax and accountancy firms need to be involved in the drafting of new law because they're the only people who fully understand it and all the implications. This is also in line with HMRC's strategy of reaching out to 'stakeholders' and consulting extensively on new law. It leads to a better quality of law overall.

Finally, the finance company exemptions that Margaret Hodge refers to in the new CFC rules are a direct consequence of the government's stated desire to give the UK a competitive tax regime internationally so she is just ill informed - it's not a 'mistake' that this exemption is available. It was designed to encouraged groups to base themselves in the UK as a holding location and, in my limited experience, has worked very well - I know of several global groups that have increased their UK activity (and profits, therefore tax) as a result.

Review: Google Nexus 4


Re: No mention of call quality

See top of page 2 for a brief mention of call quality.

To the first poster, after shelling out for a Note 2 I was a bit disappointed to hear of the Nexus 4 coming out for such a lower price point. However, after enjoying the Note 2 battery, I couldn't go back! Being able to use it inconsiderately all day and not have to worry about battery life saves so much hassle!

Amazon's secret UK sales figures revealed by Parliamentary probe


Re: Previously...

This already happens.


Apple, Spotify, Amazon: All your Cloud are belong to us, says firm


Re: "are belong"

It's a play on a popular internet meme:



Re: "Method" patents:

We just call it American football, so you were spot on!

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

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Mine just arrived this morning - Clove still has stock of the white ones and delivered before 9am next day for 6 quid which was pretty good. It's just doing the first charge up, but first impressions are that it looks great and the build quality feels great - the only exception to this is the battery cover when it's being prised away from the body which I was terrified of breaking. The grey colour actually looked a bit worse to my eye when I did a shop browse yesterday - the texturing almost looks like little scratches so it wasn't for me.

The manual is full of hilarious gems - "do not insert the device into your eye...", "do not bite or suck the battery", "do not store the device in a microwave or pressure cooker".

Event Horizon Telescope spots source of black hole jets


Re: blah

Nice pun woven in there!

Twitter airport bomb joke conviction binned in common-sense WIN


Re: Failure

The police didn't take it seriously if you read the judgement:

"He regarded it as “non-credible”, not least because it featured the appellant’s name and, as he noted, the appellant was due to fly from the airport in the near future. Nevertheless in accordance with airport procedure he passed this “tweet” to the airport police. The airport police themselves took no action, presumably for exactly the same reason, but they decided to refer the matter on to the South Yorkshire police."

Yorkshire police then said: "there is no evidence at this stage to suggest that there is anything other than a foolish comment posted on “Twitter” as a joke for only his close friends to see.”

The problem is down to the CPS for deciding to prosecute nevertheless.

It was also interesting to read the legal justification for the original conviction and how, whilst it may seem silly to the layman, it was grounded in case law.

Olympics security cockup down to software errors - report


Presumably part of the problem is that you can only start recruiting people quite close to the Olympics as the individuals have to know they will be unemployed/unoccupied over the period in question which wouldn't be possible a year or two in advance.