Have It Your Way? Burger King Latest to Say FU to Customers

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
This **** has to stop. How the hell can it be legal to do an inversion deal while your company and workers stay here and enjoy the benefits while not paying for it?

They paid taxes of 7.7% of revenue, 27% of income before taxes. My personal tax rate is higher. I'd boycott Burger King but I don't eat that ****.


Burger King may be the home of the Whopper, but Canada may be the new home of Burger King.

The restaurant operator said on Sunday that it was in talks to buy Tim Hortons, the Canadian doughnut-and-coffee chain, in a potential deal that would create one of the world’s biggest fast-food businesses.

If completed, the deal would mean Burger King’s corporate headquarters would move to Canada, raising the specter of yet another American company switching its national citizenship to lower its tax bill.


http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/08/24/burger-king-in-talks-to-buy-tim-hortons/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
Why does it have to stop? There is nothing illegal about it. We have a huge tax code that is very complicated. These corporations, like Burger King have an obligation to their stockholders to make decisions that are in their best interest.

They are not beholden to the US Government, the employees or even the customers. The thread title states that they are saying FU to their customers, how do you get that? This move shouldn't change the customer experience in a Burger King in any way.

According to Forbes, "Canada's Corporate Tax Rates Are Now More Favorable To U.S. Corporate Tax Rates". In a worldwide economy, this is what happens. Corporations shop for the best place to headquarter, produce and sell goods.

Our President has led the Democrats charge in demanding higher tax rates upon successful corporations and individuals. Rightly or wrongly, this is a consequence of those type of actions.
 

tgara

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2012
993
2,733
Connecticut, USA
No other first-world nation than the US presumes to tax profits earned outside the country. Our tax code is the highest and most complex in the world. It doesn't take a genius to conclude why companies do inversions and move their HQ overseas when even nations like Norway, Sweden, and others are simplifying, lowering, and/or cutting their taxes. The inversions are a natural reaction to the burdensome tax code. If you want it to stop, change the code!

Companies have an obligation to maximize shareholder return. If you have a problem with that, then sell those ETFs and funds in your retirement account that have done well, buy a "socially responsible" or nativist fund, and walk the talk.

Related to Southern Dad's link about the Canadian tax system in post #2 above, and since the congressional inquisition of Tim Cook last spring, I think it would be poetic justice if Apple bought the Canadian mobile company Blackberry and re-domicile to Canada. Take that!
 
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edk99

macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2009
701
709
FL
Why should it be illegal? Why do you want a government to force corporations to keep their headquarters in the US? If corporations are people too would you want the government to force people to only work and live in the US?

Our tax system is ridiculous. A perfect example is starting this year 2014 my little side business which is an LLC with s-corp tax status which is a one person operation (me). I now have to start generating a paycheck for my work. I have to come up with at least 11 paychecks. So my options are outsource this to a paycheck company like ADP. This obviously cost money. Try to do it myself using something like Quicken which I will have to take to time to figure that out. This is on top of having to pay an accountant to figure out an already complicated tax mess that is already in place every year. So I can see why corporations want to get out of this hot mess.
 
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Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,747
4,885
Washington hasn't figured out that we live in a global economy with high mobility.

If you have money and live in the ghetto odds are that you are going to move when you finally get fed up with it enough.

Don't want business to relocate than give them a reason to stay.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,006
11,823
and yet weren't all of us up in arms about Walgreens doing the same thing, which they backtracked on…

And weren't a lot of people up in arms about Apple doing the same thing, operating out of Ireland to escape the taxes that we have here as well?

And weren't we all up in arms about numbers of shell companies being created in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, etc., being operated in the US, all to escape the very same taxes these companies are doing?

I'm seeing a lot of hypocrisy here that needs some dealing with.

BL.
 

Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,747
4,885
and yet weren't all of us up in arms about Walgreens doing the same thing, which they backtracked on…

And weren't a lot of people up in arms about Apple doing the same thing, operating out of Ireland to escape the taxes that we have here as well?

And weren't we all up in arms about numbers of shell companies being created in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, etc., being operated in the US, all to escape the very same taxes these companies are doing?

I'm seeing a lot of hypocrisy here that needs some dealing with.

BL.
The outrage is misplaced. The issue is political and in Washington. Our tax code is a mess that anyone sane would want to run from if they had the chance.

No one is saying "more power to the corporatocracy", but Washington needs to get our tax code under control where companies don't want to run from it and are merrily conducting business in the USA.
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
2,329
10,253
Scotland
We cannot have free trade that is fair until the playing field in regard to taxation and worker's rights is level.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
We cannot have free trade that is fair until the playing field in regard to taxation and worker's rights is level.
That train has left the station. Why should other countries choose to raise their standards to the high levels that decimated our manufacturing industry? They have learned from our mistakes and won't be going down that road. Other countries with more favorable tax climates will continue to see corporations move to their countries. One day, we, the USA will realize that we priced ourselves out of the labor market.
 

zin

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2010
488
6,439
United Kingdom
No other first-world nation than the US presumes to tax profits earned outside the country. Our tax code is the highest and most complex in the world. It doesn't take a genius to conclude why companies do inversions and move their HQ overseas when even nations like Norway, Sweden, and others are simplifying, lowering, and/or cutting their taxes. The inversions are a natural reaction to the burdensome tax code. If you want it to stop, change the code!

Companies have an obligation to maximize shareholder return. If you have a problem with that, then sell those ETFs and funds in your retirement account that have done well, buy a "socially responsible" or nativist fund, and walk the talk.

Related to Southern Dad's link about the Canadian tax system in post #2 above, and since the congressional inquisition of Tim Cook last spring, I think it would be poetic justice if Apple bought the Canadian mobile company Blackberry and re-domicile to Canada. Take that!
I think companies should have an obligation to contribute to society just like everybody else. Just because this kind of action is legal does not make it right. You are actively calling for a major corporation to relocate thus lowering its U.S. tax bill. It's pretty sad that you resort to this line of rhetoric for political point scoring when you (and not the corporation), a recipient of government services, would suffer due to a reduction in public revenues.

I agree that the U.S. corporate tax code is burdensome, but from a different perspective. It is burdensome on public services because its complexity allows corporations to flought their obligations to the rest of society by avoiding as much tax as possible.

What level of taxation would you be comfortable with? What if we eliminate all loopholes, including this inversion tactic, and instead impose a flat effective corporate tax rate varying between 15% and 25% depending on the size of the business? Would you support this?

----------

That train has left the station. Why should other countries choose to raise their standards to the high levels that decimated our manufacturing industry? They have learned from our mistakes and won't be going down that road. Other countries with more favorable tax climates will continue to see corporations move to their countries. One day, we, the USA will realize that we priced ourselves out of the labor market.
Because it is the right thing to do. You are proposing a solution that is entrenched with, and promotes yet more, greed. Anything to lower standards and cut labour protections just to save another buck.

If I was to choose between the current U.S. labour market and of a country that did not raise its standards just to 'attract' businesses, such as the enslaved children army of China, I would choose the U.S. any day, even if it resulted in a reduction in manufacturing and labour output.
 

burgundyyears

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2010
378
188
I think companies should have an obligation to contribute to society just like everybody else. Just because this kind of action is legal does not make it right. You are actively calling for a major corporation to relocate thus lowering its U.S. tax bill. It's pretty sad that you resort to this line of rhetoric for political point scoring when you (and not the corporation), a recipient of government services, would suffer due to a reduction in public revenues.
Nonsense. The responsibility is to follow the law and tax code and nothing else. I do not fault my neighbors for deducting the interest from their mortgage on their house, despite the loss of tax revenue it causes.


What level of taxation would you be comfortable with? What if we eliminate all loopholes, including this inversion tactic, and instead impose a flat effective corporate tax rate varying between 15% and 25% depending on the size of the business? Would you support this?
Sure, but good luck with that. I'd also like to eliminate the US sugar subsidy and most forms of government farm insurance too. More things that won't occur any time soon.
 

zin

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2010
488
6,439
United Kingdom
Nonsense. The responsibility is to follow the law and tax code and nothing else. I do not fault my neighbors for deducting the interest from their mortgage on their house, despite the loss of tax revenue it causes.
I think you are wrong, very wrong. In my opinion people with your views intend to remove the humanity from business. Forget about the people who work for the company, forget about the customers, forget about the manufacturing workers, forget about what would happen if suddenly every business stopped paying tax, let's just concentrate on making as much money and profit as possible.

I cannot work out why you believe companies do not have any social obligations whatsoever. Your ideal society is one I do not want to ever live in.

The analogy between corporations avoiding tax and your neighbours using deductions is a poor one at best. For one thing, inversions and incorporation relocations are not intended causes of action in the corporate tax code; they are loopholes that nobody intended to be exploited. Deductions are explicitly legal and aren't loopholes that people use with the same kind of intent as corporate tax loopholes.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
I think companies should have an obligation to contribute to society just like everybody else. Just because this kind of action is legal does not make it right. You are actively calling for a major corporation to relocate thus lowering its U.S. tax bill. It's pretty sad that you resort to this line of rhetoric for political point scoring when you (and not the corporation), a recipient of government services, would suffer due to a reduction in public revenues.

I agree that the U.S. corporate tax code is burdensome, but from a different perspective. It is burdensome on public services because its complexity allows corporations to flought their obligations to the rest of society by avoiding as much tax as possible.

What level of taxation would you be comfortable with? What if we eliminate all loopholes, including this inversion tactic, and instead impose a flat effective corporate tax rate varying between 15% and 25% depending on the size of the business? Would you support this?

----------



Because it is the right thing to do. You are proposing a solution that is entrenched with, and promotes yet more, greed. Anything to lower standards and cut labour protections just to save another buck.

If I was to choose between the current U.S. labour market and of a country that did not raise its standards just to 'attract' businesses, such as the enslaved children army of China, I would choose the U.S. any day, even if it resulted in a reduction in manufacturing and labour output.
Hold on, the right thing to do? These corporations are multi-national companies. They are not just OUR companies. If Burger King merges with Tim Hortons, why should they choose to be an American corporation? Tim Horton was established in Canada.

You say it is the right thing to do. The right thing for who? Corporations have an obligation to the shareholders to bring the best return on investment possible. If a multi-national corporations sees Canada as a better fit for them than the USA, that is one of the costs of a free market world.

Our country, the country that I love can change its path. It isn't too late. We can opt to revise our tax codes, our regulations and become more business friendly. One thing is for sure, it we don't someone else will.
 

burgundyyears

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2010
378
188
I think you are wrong, very wrong. In my opinion people with your views intend to remove the humanity from business. Forget about the people who work for the company, forget about the customers, forget about the manufacturing workers, forget about what would happen if suddenly every business stopped paying tax, let's just concentrate on making as much money and profit as possible.

I cannot work out why you believe companies do not have any social obligations whatsoever. Your ideal society is one I do not want to ever live in.
You seem to be advocating some sort of touchy feely moralist corporatism. I don't want Burger King to hold my hand and give me the warm fuzzies. I want them to follow the law. If I don't like what the law allows, then I should work and advocate to change the law, not wag my finger at some legal fiction's lack of perceived moral scruples. What an utterly pointless exercise that is.

The analogy between corporations avoiding tax and your neighbours using deductions is a poor one at best. For one thing, inversions and incorporation relocations are not intended causes of action in the corporate tax code; they are loopholes that nobody intended to be exploited. Deductions are explicitly legal and aren't loopholes that people use with the same kind of intent as corporate tax loopholes.
Both are legal. If something illegal is being proposed, then I expect a tax prosecution to be forthcoming. If it's a "gray area" then simplify the damn tax code.

I personally think the home mortgage interest deduction is not useful myself (does the UK even have that?) so in my view, sure, it causes an unnecessary loss in revenue. Regardless, I do not castigate my neighbors for legally minimizing their income tax responsibilities.
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
682
38,980
Criminal Mexi Midget
I think companies should have an obligation to contribute to society just like everybody else. Just because this kind of action is legal does not make it right. You are actively calling for a major corporation to relocate thus lowering its U.S. tax bill. It's pretty sad that you resort to this line of rhetoric for political point scoring when you (and not the corporation), a recipient of government services, would suffer due to a reduction in public revenues.

I agree that the U.S. corporate tax code is burdensome, but from a different perspective. It is burdensome on public services because its complexity allows corporations to flought their obligations to the rest of society by avoiding as much tax as possible.

What level of taxation would you be comfortable with? What if we eliminate all loopholes, including this inversion tactic, and instead impose a flat effective corporate tax rate varying between 15% and 25% depending on the size of the business? Would you support this?

----------



Because it is the right thing to do. You are proposing a solution that is entrenched with, and promotes yet more, greed. Anything to lower standards and cut labour protections just to save another buck.

If I was to choose between the current U.S. labour market and of a country that did not raise its standards just to 'attract' businesses, such as the enslaved children army of China, I would choose the U.S. any day, even if it resulted in a reduction in manufacturing and labour output.
did you type that from a Mac made in China?:D
 

tgara

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2012
993
2,733
Connecticut, USA
I think companies should have an obligation to contribute to society just like everybody else. Just because this kind of action is legal does not make it right. You are actively calling for a major corporation to relocate thus lowering its U.S. tax bill. It's pretty sad that you resort to this line of rhetoric for political point scoring when you (and not the corporation), a recipient of government services, would suffer due to a reduction in public revenues.

I agree that the U.S. corporate tax code is burdensome, but from a different perspective. It is burdensome on public services because its complexity allows corporations to flought their obligations to the rest of society by avoiding as much tax as possible.
I'm not trying to score political points, whatever that means. I'm pointing out the simple economic facts. We agree that the tax code, both corporate and personal, is too complex, but I disagree that there is some moral or patriotic duty to pay more than what the law requires. I agree with judge Learned Hand when he said:

"Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as
possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the
treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes.
Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister
in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone
does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any
public duty to pay more than the law demands
."
As I and others have said, the actions you see now with respect to corporate inversions, mergers, etc. are, at least in part, the direct result of the current tax policy. If you don't like what's happening, change the law. It really is no more complicated than that.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,006
11,823
The outrage is misplaced. The issue is political and in Washington. Our tax code is a mess that anyone sane would want to run from if they had the chance.

No one is saying "more power to the corporatocracy", but Washington needs to get our tax code under control where companies don't want to run from it and are merrily conducting business in the USA.
You seem to be advocating some sort of touchy feely moralist corporatism. I don't want Burger King to hold my hand and give me the warm fuzzies. I want them to follow the law. If I don't like what the law allows, then I should work and advocate to change the law, not wag my finger at some legal fiction's lack of perceived moral scruples. What an utterly pointless exercise that is.
And in the meantime, Burger King should follow the law, or accept the consequences of their actions when they break it. If the government is going after these companies for merging with those overseas and relocating the US company overseas to escape the tax code, they should be held accountable for it, while we work on updating the tax code here. We expect our citizens to do the same thing, so the corporations should as well.

After all, 'corporations are people, too'.

BL.
 

Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,747
4,885
And in the meantime, Burger King should follow the law, or accept the consequences of their actions when they break it. If the government is going after these companies for merging with those overseas and relocating the US company overseas to escape the tax code, they should be held accountable for it, while we work on updating the tax code here. We expect our citizens to do the same thing, so the corporations should as well.

After all, 'corporations are people, too'.

BL.
Exactly what law on the books is being broken?
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,533
8,157
Colorado
You seem to be advocating some sort of touchy feely moralist corporatism. I don't want Burger King to hold my hand and give me the warm fuzzies. I want them to follow the law. If I don't like what the law allows, then I should work and advocate to change the law, not wag my finger at some legal fiction's lack of perceived moral scruples. What an utterly pointless exercise that is.

Both are legal. If something illegal is being proposed, then I expect a tax prosecution to be forthcoming. If it's a "gray area" then simplify the damn tax code.
Agreed. The politicians have created such a Byzantine tax code that allows for these kinds of things to happen. If people don't like these things happening, the should lobby their Congressional delegation to change the laws.
 
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sviato

macrumors 68020
Oct 27, 2010
2,274
44
HR 9038 A
FU to the customers? Are the customers directly receiving BK's tax payments?

Seems like the customers said FU to BK by electing people who established high tax rates and gave businesses incentives to leave the US. If the customers care so much (majority won't know or care at all as they shouldn't), then why not petition the government to lower corporate tax rates so that they can keep their businesses in their country?

And if BK moving away is unfair, are you saying Tim Hortons should move to the US? You'd probably have more people complaining about that, they sure love their Timmies up here ;)
 

Renzatic

Suspended
As much as I hate seeing these giant corporations skip out on their civic duties in order to save a buck, I do kinda see this as all of us griping about the symptoms, while ignoring the disease.

I mean hell, the US government is likely giving them a tax break for skipping out on us, and our tax code is a teetotal train wreck due to the constant pressure for politicians to shift the tax burden around amongst multiple people in order to benefit Group A or Group B. Democrats and republicans both wanted a global economy where they could have their cake and eat it too, and now we're paying for their poor planning and lack of foresight.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
As much as I hate seeing these giant corporations skip out on their civic duties in order to save a buck, I do kinda see this as all of us griping about the symptoms, while ignoring the disease.

I mean hell, the US government is likely giving them a tax break for skipping out on us, and our tax code is a teetotal train wreck due to the constant pressure for politicians to shift the tax burden around amongst multiple people in order to benefit Group A or Group B. Democrats and republicans both wanted a global economy where they could have their cake and eat it too, and now we're paying for their poor planning and lack of foresight.

It is pathetic. Our businesses operate on a quarterly results cycle and our politicians on a 24 hour news cycle.
 

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Jun 16, 2014
1,365
534
Houston, Texas
America's effective corporate tax rate is 12 percent. The notion that these companies actually pay the full 35 to 39 percent is laughable. Sure the code is a mess but no one pays the full rate anyway. So in effect, those that say we need to become more business friendly mean we need to lower the corporate tax rate below 12 percent. What would be "business friendly," 10%, 5%?

It never ceases to amaze me at the number of American citizens who fully support companies moving their HQ out of our country to make a couple of bucks.

Yes these companies have an obligation to pay taxes in the U.S. Do they use our roads? Do they call 911 if there is an emergency? Of course they do.

Another thing that would solve this is a single payer healthcare system. Many businesses are choosing Canada over the U.S. not just for tax code, but because they don't have to provide health insurance for their employees.

Healthcare through the employer is and always has been a major headache for everyone involved. It's an entirely unnecessary expense for an employer to have.

America has had it's chances to let the free market handle healthcare. If they could have made it affordable, people could have purchased it without the need of having to go through their employer. Since it's turned out just like everything else that we've privatized (profit before people), our only sensible option is single payer.
 

zioxide

macrumors 603
Dec 11, 2006
5,725
3,711
You say it is the right thing to do. The right thing for who? Corporations have an obligation to the shareholders to bring the best return on investment possible. If a multi-national corporations sees Canada as a better fit for them than the USA, that is one of the costs of a free market world.
It's the right thing for the PEOPLE. You know, the living, breathing human beings that occupy this planet... we should treat them like human beings.

Corporations are just imaginary entities that only exist on paper and would love to treat human beings like cattle, work them till they can't work any more and then put them down. America used to be better than that, but now we're full of greedy people who just want to race to the bottom.

Well, full speed ahead. Just wait until this bubble bursts.. if anyone thinks the last recession was bad...