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Twitter Tax Controversy Explained In Cartoon Form

Roblimo posted more than 3 years ago | from the I-left-my-bank-account-in-San-Francisco dept.

Government 303

theodp writes "If you prefer to digest your news in a cartoon format, you'll be happy to know that the Twitter tax controversy has gotten the Next Media Animation TV treatment. In the NMAtv clip, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone cuts a tax break with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and ascends a ladder to 'Tax-Free Haven' where he's high-fived by execs from GE and Google. If you insist on reading the news, IBD has an account of the payroll tax break, which critics are calling corporate welfare." A hilarious, but true, story. Please remember, when you see 'haven' instead of 'heaven,' that English isn't everyone's first language.

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twitter makes money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771596)

really?

Re:twitter makes money (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771622)

No, but they still have to pay their employees, therefore they must pay a payroll tax.

What sparked this is their impending IPO, since stock options would have been taxed.

Re:twitter makes money (5, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771974)

While I hate corporate welfare I really don't know if you can call it that in this case. In fact what they got Twitter to agree to is to build new offices in a scummy slum part of town, which of course will now cost Twitter in extra security and such, in the hopes that they can renew the area and get businesses to move back which will also get the same break if they move into scum town.

Now considering this neighborhood is probably "welcome to the jungle" you are gonna have to offer something for any business to take the risk, and I'm sure there will be employees that will turn down an offer from twitter because they'd have to go into and out of such a rough area.

So while I think bullshit like GE paying almost no taxes by pulling crap like the double dutch IS bullshit and needs to be stopped ASAP, giving a company a break for taking increased risk by moving into bad areas in the hope of fixing them up is just smart. The same was done several years ago in my own state with the river market area, and whereas before the place looked like Beirut, what with all the bombed out looking buildings and garbage everywhere, now it is a really nice neighborhood with little shops and a thriving gay community.

Everything there is clean and nice with plenty of foot paths and nobody is afraid to walk there anymore, so I'd say the tax breaks the city gave were money well spent. If by giving them a tax break the city of SF can do the same to one of their slums why not? Better than just letting the buildings fall apart and become fire hazards like Detroit.

Re:twitter makes money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772114)

The same was done several years ago in my own state with the river market area, and whereas before the place looked like Beirut, what with all the bombed out looking buildings and garbage everywhere, now it is a really nice neighborhood with little shops and a thriving gay community.

Hmm... Are you suggesting that where Twitter goes, a thriving Gay community will follow?

What? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772154)

They let in a bunch of rump-raiders, and you think that's an improvement?

Re:twitter makes money (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772246)

Bah. The worst thing about the Tenderloin is that on Sunday, you can't find anywhere to park because so many bridge-and-tunnel people come into town to go to Glide.

Re:twitter makes money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771636)

I'm kind of surprised that businesses haven't realized Twitter's worth as a neutral update zone and started funding it.

Twitter's original purpose (social broadcasting for people) is as worthless as YouTube's original purpose (social videos by people). Both turned out to be used very differently.

Re:twitter makes money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772006)

I'm kind of surprised that businesses haven't realized Twitter's worth as a neutral update zone and started funding it.

Then it wouldn't be neutral anymore. It'd be biased towards business or at least the ones who are sponsors. Neutral wouldn't be neutral anymore. You stupid idiot.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771614)

How unnecessary.

What's unnecessary? (1)

definate (876684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771926)

So... what's unnecessary? The tax, the tax break, the cartoon news of it, or the article on it?

Overall, I like this idea. Forcing larger companies, into shitty areas, which they'll have to do up, and which will provide incentives for other businesses to move there too (such as those that will supply these other businesses).

I could see such strategies being valuable to both the businesses (as it eliminates the cost of moving, and problems of re-hiring people), and it could revitalize some run down areas.

Though doing it for just one business, might not be on a large enough scale.

Either way, quite interesting.

Re:Wow (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772126)

I would have gone with "word salad".

i think haven was a pun (5, Informative)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771616)

admittedly it's a bad pun, but would it really be surprising that the taiwanese media have a better grasp of english than slashdot editors?

Re:i think haven was a pun (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772130)

admittedly it's a bad pun, but would it really be surprising that the taiwanese media have a better grasp of english than slashdot editors?

It wouldn't be if you had a lower UID.

Re:i think haven was a pun (5, Informative)

Asclepius99 (1527727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772242)

Tax Haven isn't a pun, it's an actual term. Remember, English isn't the first language of all the /. editors.

Tax Haven [wikipedia.org]

Re:i think haven was a pun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772426)

The pun comes from putting it on a fluffy white cloud, which is conventionally used to represent heaven.

Re:i think haven was a pun (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772446)

Yes it is an actual term. That's what makes it a pun rather than a misspelling. You need to watch the video. Representing a "Tax-free haven" as heaven is a visual pun. Not a funny one, admittedly.

("Tax-free haven" rather than "Tax haven" is a mistake though. It's like a double negative. But as the man said, English isn't their first language.)

Re:i think haven was a pun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772324)

Erm, "haven" was perfectly appropriate there. What's the problem?

English audio version (4, Informative)

mailman-zero (730254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771624)

English audio for those who don't like reading subtitles. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh1evfTk58o [youtube.com]

Re:English audio version (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772326)

Nice. I didn't know that existed. However, it is slow in adding new videos. Compare it to http://www.youtube.com/user/NMAWorldEdition [youtube.com] ...

Re:English audio version (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772340)

Oops, I forgot to mention http://www.youtube.com/user/NMATV [youtube.com] (English one). :)

Re:English audio version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772378)

Please don't feed the illiterate swine. Thank you.

Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771632)

Amazing - IBD couldn't stop fellating Big Corporate long enough to report on yet another company refusing to pay its share without getting a few kicks in at public employees.

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771662)

Amazing - IBD couldn't stop fellating Big Corporate long enough to report on yet another company refusing to pay its share without getting a few kicks in at public employees.

Thing is, the amount of money I have to pay annually to Twitter: $0
The amount I have to pay to government: 40% of my salary, plus penalties if I make a mistake

So yeah, I think the activities of government deserve a bit more scrutiny.

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771678)

Do what I do once a decade: rob a bank to recoup your losses. VoilÃ, no more taxes!

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771684)

Unicode fail. Thanks, Slashdot.

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771962)

Use the force [ascii.cl]

Voilà! mon chéri

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771714)

40% is pretty high tax bracket. I wish I am in that bracket.

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771892)

I'm betting 40% isn't a bracket at all. That's probably the sum total of all the taxes he pays most likely.

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (3, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771948)

I'm betting it's an AC who made up numbers he thinks proves his point. I'm not an AC. With income at $100,000 in a year, I was at 10% federal income tax, and about 20% for the sum of all taxes I paid (SS, Medicare, sales, state, local, property - multiple properties, and all that). It would be hard to reach 40% in the US. Though some people manage it, like those hit with AMT and other such weirdness. Or those who pay both halves of SS themselves (contractors) but he specifically said "salary" so that doesn't count.

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (4, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772196)

I'm betting it's an AC who made up numbers he thinks proves his point. I'm not an AC. With income at $100,000 in a year, I was at 10% federal income tax, and about 20% for the sum of all taxes I paid (SS, Medicare, sales, state, local, property - multiple properties, and all that). It would be hard to reach 40% in the US. Though some people manage it, like those hit with AMT and other such weirdness. Or those who pay both halves of SS themselves (contractors) but he specifically said "salary" so that doesn't count.

http://www.paycheckcity.com/NetPayCalc/netpayCalcResult.asp [paycheckcity.com]

At $100,000 a year, you will lose 35% of your paycheck before deductions and writeoffs. Throw in the 10% state sales tax in California, and there you go.

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772206)

You obviously have some tax write-offs. Kids, house? For those who are single and don't own a home and subsidizing your lifestyle, the very lowest tax bracket is 10%. The rate for $100,000 is 28%. We also have to pay social security and medicare, which comes to 7.6% and our employer has to chip in 7.6%, so that's ~15%. Depending on what state you live in (I'm in California, where most people pay 4-9%), there is state income tax and then some percentage of purchases goes to sales and excise taxes (e.g. gas). So someone in California making $100,000 per year who is single and doesn't own a home pays 28+9+15= 52%, not including sales and excise taxes.

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (0)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772240)

Not completely. the 28% tax rate is graduated and not a real 28% for the entire lot of the income. It will be the first X amount taxed at 10%, the next X amount taxed at 15% or whatever, and so on until after the final X amount of dollars, you are paying 28%

It's probably a little closer to 40-45% total.

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772444)

Okay, so 22% instead of 28%. So that's only a 47% tax rate, not including sales and excise taxes.

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (2)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772056)

No doubt the parent is using somebody's calculation of total tax burden. Estimates vary. This [nytimes.com] estimate claims poor people pay about 20%, working its way up to 30% for everybody with average income or above.

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772440)

47% [yahoo.com] of household had a 0% income tax rate last year. The bottom 40% have a negative tax rate due to refundable credits.

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771960)

You probably already are -- if you include 14.2% FICA, state income taxes and property taxes (we can exclude sales taxes since you do have a choice in how much shit you buy)

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (1)

definate (876684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771998)

I wish I were in that bracket.

Step 1: Learn to English.
Step 2: Study a lot.
Step 3: Get full time job.
Step 4: Study more.
Step 5: Get next full time job.
Step 6: Study more.
Step 7: Get next full time job.

Assumes you're in or willing to move to a competitive location (NYC, London, Segments of California, etc), that you're able to put in this amount of work, and that you're lucky.

Given you weren't born into it, or extremely lucky, or extremely exceptional (which everyone seems to think they are), then you too could earn this sort of money.

I've family and friends, who are close to or in those tax brackets, and though I've really simplified it, they essentially did the above.

One studied for 5 years, worked through it, had no life, got reasonable grades, travelled to the other side of the world, with almost no money, a suit case, and without a job (in the 90s), now has a job working in remote places for large amounts of time, flying in and out, sees his family rarely.
Another studied and worked to support that study for 6 years, got quite high grades, had no life, now works in isolated areas around the world, moving from place to place.

There's a few more instances of this, but they become less close to that amount of money, but they all have a few things in common:
1 - No family life, and no life with friends, or more so, little to speak of.
2 - Extremely long hours, such that at even on "holiday", their phone is on, they've got their laptop, they'll probably end up doing SOME work, and their holidays are often under the amount many would get.
3 - Took some huge risks which could have ruined them, forcing them to return to their relatively poor beginnings (one guy above came from a very very poor neighbourhood, the other a middle lower class neighbourhood).
4 - Studied for ages, while others worked.
5 - When opportunities to study more came up, they took them, AND kept working.
6 - When opportunities to work came up, they took them.

On top of all of that, they had some good luck.

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771940)

40%? How much do you make? I made $100,000 and paid less than $10,000 in federal income tax. When you add everything else I paid taxes on (property tax on two homes, sales tax, state taxes, Social Security, Medicare, etc.) I was under 20%. Perhaps if you were a contractor and paid the extra SS portion for yourself, then maybe you'd have a chance, but you specifically said "salary" so I call BS. But then, like all unlikely and biased statements I read here, it's from an AC, so I'll just assume it's all lies in an attempt to prove your point.

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771710)

Why does San Francisco need a larger share than other towns?

Re:Fuck IBD, the corporate whores (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771858)

It's funny how in your world everybody but the government has to justify their "share."

Seems to be a popular opinion of late.

Tax heaven (4, Interesting)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771668)

Please remember, when you see 'haven' instead of 'heaven,' that English isn't everyone's first language.

Interestingly, the expression for "tax haven" in Spanish is "paraiso fiscal" (tax heaven), which I'm pretty sure was a mistranslation in the first place. Ok, ignore the "interestingly"..

Is it just me... (1)

Tooke (1961582) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771694)

is it just me, or was that not hilarious at all? Oh, it's an animation, I see. Of course it's funny.

Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771696)

Why dish out corporate welfare - Twitter degrades society by making it's users into even more impulsive retards than they were prior. Surely we can't be giving handouts to people degrading society...oh, nevermind.

Fucking Bullshit (4, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771706)

I understand it's SOP, but I do think it is motherfucking bullshit that I pay a higher percentage of my income in taxes than these companies. And I guarantee my net is six to seven orders of magnitude less than what they bring in, which is probably true for most Americans as well. But its the welfare state that is bankrupting us they say!

Re:Fucking Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771766)

commie

Re:Fucking Bullshit (2)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771804)

The company did not pay, but the company executives foot their shares via personal income tax.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (1)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771828)

Except the ones that take $1 in salary and the rest out in "benefits". They don't pay much of anything.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (1)

erikina (1112587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771920)

I'm sure there's an American equivalent to what we have in Australia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fringe_Benefits_Tax_(Australia) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Fucking Bullshit (2)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771984)

Pretty much, yeah. Any thing of value you receive from another party during the year, unless it's specifically a gift (and then that's limited to $10000) counts as "income" and is subject to taxation.

Of course, there are different kinds of income that get taxed at different rates (for instance, bonuses and short-term capital gains get taxed the most, long-term capital gains and dividends the least, to encourage people not to speculate in the stock market). But Uncle Sugar always gets his cut.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (2)

geezer nerd (1041858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772018)

Oh yes. Benefits that an employee receives are given a value and will be taxed if they exceed certain numbers that are relative to all employees. I never received enough benefits for this to be a serious issue for me. About the only time it bit me even a little was that I often took advantage of purchasing subsidized life insurance through the company, and if the subsidy was big enough I got hit up for taxes on it. The amount was reported in the W2 as I recall. (I am retired now, and it was a few years ago that I am remembering.)

I spent my entire working career in the US, paying usually both federal and state taxes. Just like everyone else, I did not like paying taxes, but I never felt that the tax rates were too high or punitive. The only times it got me were when I failed to plan ahead.

Even today, being retired and living in a different country, I don't mind paying US taxes. What I don't like is the tortuous complexity of the US tax system, with all the different types of income and different exclusions and deductions. It approaches the insane.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772436)

There is. My employer provided free lunch and in return I got to pay the US Treasury $400/year for this benefit. The best part is I couldn't opt-out when I didn't like their food.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (1)

kaiser423 (828989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771898)

so?

Re:Fucking Bullshit (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772102)

The company did not pay, but the company executives foot their shares via personal income tax.

So what? The company executives are not the company, they are employees. Is it ok for me to not pay my taxes on the theory that the guy I hire to cut my lawn will pay his share? Of course not.

A company receives certain benefits from the government quite apart from any benefits that accrue to employees or stockholders. Indeed, for anything other than a simple sole proprietorship, the company's very existence as a corporation or partnership or LLC is a government benefit. The idea that it's ok, legally or socially, or a company to not pay for those benefits, is part of what destroyed the U.S. economy.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771888)

Okay, remember, that every corporation on the planet is a tax collector, never ever has one of them paid taxes. They pay taxes, out of the money that that somebody paid them. Ultimately, all of those taxes are paid by shareholders, employees, or customers (either in the lack of dividends/profits/prices, lower salary/benefits, or the cost of goods and services respectively).

The problem you have is that you want to be ignorant of the taxes you pay. If you made every penny of tax be paid hidden from you, and have you "pay" zero taxes, it'll just be money funneled through a dozen different hands before it was used to pay taxes (and likely be taxed every time it changes hands). Personally, I'd prefer that I personally pay all my taxes, and I'd prefer that every man, woman and child in this country pay taxes, and be the only entity that does (currently most folks under a certain wage pay an effective 0 or negative tax rate in that they get more benefits from the gov't than they pay in payroll, at least directly, indirectly I'm not sure). Hopefully at that point, we could avoid the class/culture wars, and everyone could realize just how much taxes actually cost them. The folks benefiting from taxes are generally gov't employees and their friends (both high level like senators, or low level like folks that are overpaid and underutilized).

Re:Fucking Bullshit (2)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771928)

There are taxes paid on on every salary of every employee, including the CEO's and other exceutive's salaries, which are probably all in the highest bracket. Gains on stocks are taxed, and dividend payouts are taxed as income.

Profits the company makes and doesn't pay out in dividends or salaries is used for company expansion. Why tax that? That's the exact problem we have in the USA, and we already have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Of course these international companies are doing everything they can to get around it. Would you rather them just move their entire company offshore? It's hard to compete when your international competitors have such a large tax advantage.

The sad fact is that the US government is making (taxing) more money from these companies than any CEO is, and more than corporate profits are. Taxing creators of jobs isn't an incentive to expand your business. Including state corporate taxes, it's around 40% in the US, imagine how much faster companies could expand with a 67% increase in profits (0% tax).

Re:Fucking Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772008)

I thought I created jobs by spending the money I keep after taxes in the first place, but I guess I'm wrong because you're telling me it's the money a company gets to keep after taxes that does it.

Wait.. unless money grows on trees at these businesses, why would either side pay disproportionate taxes compared to the other?

"There are taxes paid on on every salary of every employee, including the CEO's and other exceutive's salaries, "
BTW, that's MY MONEY paid in taxes, not theirs. Nobody is disputing that the state gets paid one way or another. Claiming that payroll taxes are the company's burden moreso than the individuals paying them is BS.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772368)

Because taxing income takes out more money from current production. Corporate profits not paid in employees income is used to invest in future production. It's better to tax away current production than future production. Just like it would be better to have higher tax rates now than have to pay back the 1.6 Trillion we borrowed this year. It would of course be much better to cut spending.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772146)

And think of how much faster all our infrastructure would fall apart with no tax revenue coming in!

Re:Fucking Bullshit (2)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772270)

You know another way you could increase profits for corporations? Raise the minimum income required for taxes much higher--say, to $50,000--and put the money back in the hands of the people who spend basically every penny they have. The real incentive to expand and create jobs comes from greater demand for products and services. Just cutting the taxes means, for a lot of corporations, bigger bonuses for the e-team. But if all of a sudden they get 30% more demand because their target market has 30% more money to spend...

Re:Fucking Bullshit (0)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772288)

So shift taxes to the wealthier people that create jobs. If people all have 30% more money and production hasn't increased, prices just go up 30%. But what would actually happen is that productions and jobs would be lost since companies and wealthy people will have less profits and savings.

You can't expand an economy without having savings for investment, that's why taxing rich people isn't any better. You can't have more demand met without increasing production.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772418)

And I forgot to mention, if all prices go up by 30%, your savings in dollars just went down by 30%.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772422)

There are taxes paid on on every salary of every employee, including the CEO's and other exceutive's salaries, which are probably all in the highest bracket. Gains on stocks are taxed, and dividend payouts are taxed as income.

Wasn't it the CEO of GE who said his secretary pays a higher percentage of her salary that he does?

There are lots of loop holes to get out of paying taxes for the rich.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772470)

It was Warren Buffet and his maid, because he makes all his money in stocks and pays mostly just capital gains tax (15% for long term capital gains). He chose to ignore all the taxes that employees at all those companies he owns stocks in pay. All the money he is investing in those companies that's paid out in taxes is all ignored when he says that. He's really paying 15% on top of all those taxes already levied. Capital gains taxes just tax you twice.

I agree, the loop holes need to go away, maybe then taxes could come down. But it's all about loop holes the way it is now, just think of having a 401k. It's just some legal loophole to skirt taxes, not much different than any of these other loop holes. The entire system is just terrible, and the privacy violations from having an income tax are ridiculous.

Corporate income taxes just take it a step further, so that there is no way to save money for future investment without paying a 40% tax, even if you tie it up in a company.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (5, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772002)

I do think it is motherfucking bullshit that I pay a higher percentage of my income in taxes than these companies

First off, the tax in question here is a payroll tax which comes out of the employees' salaries and stock options. So this is a good thing for workers at Twitter.

Second, you only pay income tax on your net income. Of course, when people piss and moan about corporations "not paying their share", they only look at their gross income. Companies can have enough expenses in a year that they essentially have no or little income, and you have to keep that in mind when looking at their tax burden.

Third, a company that is successful and hires lots of workers is going to pay into Social Security and other tax schemes through payroll taxes. So whether the corporation itself pays taxes or not, the government is still getting money from them. No one gets out of paying completely, it just doesn't happen.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (4, Informative)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772160)

>>I understand it's SOP, but I do think it is motherfucking bullshit that I pay a higher percentage of my income in taxes than these companies

You know what's bullshit? San Francisco's tax laws. Combined with California's tax laws. That's why there's this controversy in the first place. They have one of the most business-unfriendly environments in the US.

My company pays 1.5% of its profits to the state of California. You know what's bullshit about it? It's an S-Corp, so there are no profits, technically - all money passes through to the shareholders, who pay personal income tax on the money. But you get the privilege of paying 1.5% anyway, on top of the taxes you get to pay for personal income, simply because you have a corporation. If your profits are not that high, you get to pay a minimum tax of $800 anyway. Which can work out to a lot more than 1.5% of your income, if you're a small operation. Hey, that's fair, right? Mom and Pop start a $20,000/year candle business, and so California taxes them a bonus 4% for the privilege. (And people wonder why corporations are leaving the state.)

C-Corps (that retain earnings) get to pay corporate taxes (unless you're rich enough to buy a loophole) on top of the taxes that the owners pay when they eventually draw money out of the corporation. That's double-bonus awesome, right?

Twitter was going to be charged a bonus 1.5% taxes on all money it spent on payroll (i.e. personnel expenses), on top of all the other bullshit. That's the San Francisco Treat right there, and why they were going to move to San Jose. Twitter is big enough and famous enough to get an exemption from the SF government though. Smaller corporations just have to take it or leave. (Guess which companies are hard to relocate? That's right, small businesses.)

Even more fun: if you're a corporation grossing over $100,000 a year, you get to pay California sales tax on all purchases of durable goods bought outside of California. (http://www.boe.ca.gov/taxprograms/usetax/index.html) How's that for being fair? And if you don't keep records for your "exemptions" (i.e. purchases from companies like Newegg that charge CA sales tax already), you get to pay sales tax twice. Lucky you, eh? Oh, and after they enroll your corporation for Use Tax, it's retroactive for the past four years, taxes and penalties due immediately.

You're right about the corporate tax code being bullshit, but the reality isn't exactly what you think it is for anyone not rich enough to buy off the legislature.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772352)

So, why did you start an S-corp if you don't like the laws governing them?

Let me guess -- because you wanted to take any losses on your personal income tax, and gain the ability to claim things as business expenses. Seems like you're getting consideration in this deal too.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772406)

As someone who moved away from SF before starting my little one-man company, the only one of your gripes that bothered me is the $800/year state fee (not SF-specific fee) for a business regardless of its income. I don't mind the higher taxes in SF, because the truth is SF is simply a better place to live in most people's opinions and a 1.5% charge is chump change; if 1.5% is enough to knock you out of the game, then you were never in it to begin with because of the higher rents and other non-governmental costs in the city. To put it another way: if I had to pay the $800 due to an additional 1.5% tax, I'd have made $53.3k that year and I could have afforded to stay in SF; with it being a flat fee, I wasn't going to pay up an entire month's rent in fees before I even had my product on sale.

Btw, in most states you're supposed to pay sales/use taxes on things bought out of state -- whether you're a corporation or an individual -- it's just that few people actually do it. And most of your other gripes aren't specific to San Francisco, or even California.

Re:Fucking Bullshit (0)

Trogre (513942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772442)

Wait a minute. 1.5% of profits. Is that correct? As in one point five?

You're bitching about having to pay a tax of 1.5% on your company's profits?

*shakes head*

Re:Fucking Bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772474)

He's already paid like 35% from his personal tax for the corporation. The 1.5% is added *in addition* just because you're a corporation.

If it's a C-Corp, then he'll split the profits up between the corporation and his personal income - and both will need to pay similar rates.

So the 1.5% is not low at all - anything above 0% is unreasonable because he has already paid for that profit. You commies should learn basic maths and accounting before shouting at people who actually produce value.

The explanation is easy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772462)

The individual pay an INCOME tax, such as every single of us pay. The corporation ON TOP OF THAT, pay a corp tax to pay for the ADDITIONAL burden they pause on the local utility or governement services.

Roblimo isn't a native English speaker? (5, Informative)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771748)

Seriously?

Please remember, when you see 'haven' instead of 'heaven,' that English isn't everyone's first language.

What the fuck? Now you're mocking people for using the term "haven"? A perfectly acceptable word when talking about tax-free locations.

Dictionary.com definition of "haven"

ha ven [hey-vuhn]

-noun
1. a harbor or port.
2. any place of shelter and safety; refuge; asylum.

-verb (used with object)
3. to shelter, as in a haven.

Now, as a person for whom English is his 3rd language, allow me to dumb down my judgment of Roblimo's IQ and knowledge of English to a level that even he should be able to understand, despite it having three syllables: Imbecile [wikipedia.org] .

You may also want to look up the term "walking on cloud nine".

Re:Roblimo isn't a native English speaker? (2)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771788)

I was thinking almost exactly the same thing, except I am a native English speaker.

I've never heard a tax haven described as anything but a tax haven because that's what its called.

Tax heaven lol. Sigh.

Re:Roblimo isn't a native English speaker? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771806)

English as second language here. I was also shocked that the Roblimo, in his ignorance, is talking down to someone who actually can use the term "tax haven" correctly. I guess it's the dumbing down of the masses, where ignorance is seen as superior to intelligence. The world looks more and more like Idiocracy with each day that passes...

Re:Roblimo isn't a native English speaker? (2)

hldn (1085833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771856)

he made the comment about tax haven because in the scene with the sign that says "tax-free haven" the execs are climbing up into the clouds, implying a "tax-free heaven." obviously the tax haven is the correct usage, but the question posed is if the video creator knew that haven and heaven do not have the same meaning.

whether this is a pun or a mistake on the part of a non native english speaker is not certain.

Re:Roblimo isn't a native English speaker? (3, Insightful)

Paul Jakma (2677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771884)

It's quite obviously a visual pun on "haven" (the normal and correct term used in "tax haven") and "heaven". Which makes it clear that either Roblimo is being super-ultra-ironic, or he has failed to realise that the cartoon authors have a better grasp of english than himself.

Re:Roblimo isn't a native English speaker? (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771946)

I saw the video. Yes, the character climbs a ladder up to what I saw as "cloud nine" which has a tax haven. That's why I mentioned cloud nine in my comment.

I can't really ask this question without sounding like I'm trying to offend you personally, but that isn't the point. But I can't really tell if I'm really really smart or if the general public is ignorant.

Re:Roblimo isn't a native English speaker? (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772038)

But I can't really tell if I'm really really smart or if the general public is ignorant.

That's an inclusive "or", right?

Re:Roblimo isn't a native English speaker? (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772138)

I seriously hope it's an XOR ... otherwise I might need to kill myself.

Re:Roblimo isn't a native English speaker? (1)

Tooke (1961582) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772096)

Stop being so logical. You're making MartinSchou's tantrum look stupid.

Nothing wrong with the English.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771776)

What's wrong with using the word 'haven'?

Re:Nothing wrong with the English.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772074)

Correct English usage tend to confuse /. editors.

what is wrong with usage of tax haven (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771794)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_haven
A tax haven is a state or a country or territory where certain taxes are levied at a low rate or not at all while offering due process, good governance and a low corruption rate

Asian language with English subtitles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771812)

Seems appropriate actually. If we continue to run the country this way, you should get used to it.

LET GO OF MY YUGO !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771838)

Let go of my Yugo, Twit! It has been interesting to watch how the computer scene has split up into, at first, two, then three and now headed to four distinct types of computing platforms, each a microcosm. By this, I mean we have moved from just desktop computing into desktop and laptop computing, with the laptop often substituting as a desktop. Then came the mobile smartphone platform, which evolved into a fourth platform-tablets.

While people were always hoping these things would come together in the form of some sort of super integrated machine, the fact is that they are very different, and a smart user needs all four devices. They really do not replace each other, and people are making their lives miserable by thinking that they can.

For instance, many people try to replace desktops with laptops. Laptops make for a mediocre desktop computer replacement, and it's somewhat pathetic to see people using them on desktops, especially if they do not attach a bigger screen. The desktop computer in today's world has at least 2 big monitors and all sorts of capabilities, such as copying DVD's or acting as a powerful FTP server or video editor. The desktop computer should be a powerful workstation, unlike a laptop.

The laptop is a machine for the road. I appreciate companies that think they are saving money by giving an employee a laptop and hoping that the employee takes it home and does work on it. But that's crazy. The employee should have two desktops. In today's market, you can buy two desktops for the price of many laptops. The laptop should only be a road warrior device.

From there, we discovered the pocket computer, which has had a rocky start and did not begin to flourish until the iPhone came along with a new idea for the interface. Now smartphones have become a computing platform. People also try to use it as a desktop substitute. I often see people surfing the Net on an iPhone when they have an actual computer nearby. Are they crazy? The iPhone and the newer smartphones are a genuine platform, but it doesn't eliminate either the laptop or the desktop. You need all three.

And finally there is the iPad and all the new tablets. I would include the Kindle and the Nook in this platform, too. This is another distinct platform although it has earmarks of a laptop. The fact is it isn't a laptop and it's mostly a content delivery mechanism. Thus, it is dubious for any sort of content creation, including email. Yes, it can be used in a pinch. The smartphone can be used in a pinch for just about everything. But why use the wrong tool for the job when you can have the right tool?

That's the point. They are, in fact, very distinct and provide different tools for different jobs. Smart people know this, and they use all four in the ways they are supposed to be used.

I am not going to start writing columns with my smartphone, even if I can attach a keyboard and a screen. If there was no other way, then yes I would do it. I could also do it on the laptop, but I prefer a loaded PC with a big screen, so I can access resources quickly and have a lot of screen real estate to put notes and Web pages for easy access. The PC itself is the best of all these devices, unless you want to make a phone call other than a Skype call.

All the devices do have a point of impracticality. The PCs doesn't fulfill mobility needs. For that, I need a laptop. The laptop's point of impracticality is complex editing, such as video editing-this holds true for all the other platforms, too. The phone and tablet cannot do much in the way of editing where processing power is a factor. Photoshop comes to mind.

The point is: buy all four items, but don't claim that any one of them is the greatest thing ever and that you do not need anything else, because that's just bullshit!

Tax Heaven? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35771890)

So you think it should say Tax Heaven? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_haven [wikipedia.org]
There is no reference to Heaven on that wikipedia article.

I don't post too much but (2)

itsphilip (934602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35771982)

When I watched this my head nearly exploded. The mayor had to do what he had to do to keep Twitter in his city. Consider this: if they had just let Twitter move somewhere else, lots of jobs would be terminated. These are all employees who live in the city, purchase things and pay sales tax, pay income taxes and a whole host of other taxes levied. All of the equipment, much of which is probably purchased locally, would be purchased elsewhere. Contractors who service their equipment would have fewer clients, their office space would be unoccupied, and so on and so on and so on. Over all, it's probably a net gain for the city. $22 million a year less in revenue. Big deal in the grand scheme of things. Twitter is big, and it's getting bigger. Kudos to the mayor for being so forward thinking.

Taiwan: quit trolling and mind your own fucking business.

Re:I don't post too much but (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772116)

Consider this: if they had just let Twitter move somewhere else, lots of jobs would be terminated.

So don't let it move. Leash the damn corporations already and stop this race to the bottom. The existence of a corporation is supposed to be contingent on the public good.

Re:I don't post too much but (4, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772222)

>>The existence of a corporation is supposed to be contingent on the public good.

I think keeping a thousand people employed in your city is a public good, right?

>>Leash the damn corporations already and stop this race to the bottom.

Leash the tax-hungry legislators that caused this mess to begin with.

The controversy was over the extra-special 1.5% of *expenses* "San Francisco Tax" Twitter would be paying over what they'd pay if they relocated 45 minutes south to San Jose. Hopefully the SF city council will realize that their hostile environment to businesses is bad for the city as a whole, and repeal the damn law.

Re:I don't post too much but (3, Insightful)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772380)

Consider this: if they had just let Twitter move somewhere else, lots of jobs would be terminated.

So don't let it move. Leash the damn corporations already and stop this race to the bottom. The existence of a corporation is supposed to be contingent on the public good.

Sorry, but just how can you stop a corporation (or anyone for that matter) from getting up and moving somewhere else?

Re:I don't post too much but (1)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772374)

What's more, for those that didn't RTFA

There's a catch, but it's not burdensome. Twitter will have to set up shop, a few blocks away from its current quarters, in a depressed neighborhood that the city wants to revive. Other firms can get the same tax advantage if they move to the same area.

Sure, Twitter were big enough to make this happen, but other companies can now take advantage of this tax break as well.
What is likely to cost SF more - the $22M over 6 years (which, on a budget the size of SF's is around the level of a rounding error) or having a derelict neighbourhood in the middle of the city?

I'd argue that SF stands to gain more than $22M over 6 years if their urban revitalisation plan comes to fruition and they can get other companies to move in and raise the image of the affected neighbourhoods.

Re:I don't post too much but (2)

micheas (231635) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772430)

They were threatening to move to Brisbane (about five miles away) , It would not have resulted in a significant amount of employees moving.

This is penny wise pound foolish move on the part of the Board of Supervisors. They are trying to save $18 million a year in tax revenue from twitter. When all is said and done this will cost the city about $100 million when all the fallout is factored into it.

The building twitter is moving into was just bought by the Shorenstein Group, a politically connected real estate company that has one of the lowest vacancy rates.

The Shorenstein Group is the biggest beneficiary of this, as otherwise they would have had to drop the rent to get twitter in.

Boycott IBD -they don't support Linux (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772062)

Their stock charts require Microsft Silverlight and they won't officially support anything else..

I have a Firefox Extension that makes it easy to boycott sites that don't support Linux.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/webcott/

Never heard of a "tax haven"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772070)

So if it's a "tax-free haven" does that mean taxes are expected?

GOTTEN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772192)

In the old days we would have said "has received the Next Media Treatment", but it seems that even Slashdot editors have become so lazy that they cannot select a verb and so fall-back to GOTTEN.

Stop it, you lazy destroyers of language.

Communist China (2)

zanian (1621285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772272)

"maybe not paying taxes is a sign that you've made it as a company in the US."

Made me chuckle coming from China. Somebody over there must have had a good sense of humour for that one

Re:Communist China (2)

urusan (1755332) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772390)

Good thing it's coming from Taiwan, not China then.

Re:Communist China (1)

zanian (1621285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772438)

ouch... my bad.

best aricle (1)

djfuq (1151563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772296)

I have more interesting thoughts than you about this summary of this story.
I believe something is spelled wrong. Or the story sounded so odd on purpose... like the beginning of this sentence did.
Either way I disagree with all other comments above. I disagree with and make better points in a shorter amount of time than those below this comment as well. To be fair, your comments were OK, but the news in the summary was terrible. I hate all the news I see except for scientific discoveries. I hate the world's ways that seem so petty, greedy and wasteful. Not to mention stupid political situations. I f I were president I would put an end to parking meters and meter maids. I would dispose of all Ferengi amassing of wealth from exploitation. Things would be meant and created to last and be useful as good as new for generations, and we would not waste. This plastic world... makes me ill. I am an idealist.

  like I just read ofter things that I hate or laugh at or am bored with like this one.

thanks for you time,

pompous stream of consciousness man

Taiwanese Media (1)

zjl56 (935988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35772372)

I have seen these videos on and off for some years now but its only when I have taken a close look at Taiwan to see how a vibrant media and lead to quirky informative news briefs like this. Bit insane to think an island of twenty million has as many tv + radio feeds as is, not to mention one of the hardest wired countries.

America is turning communist (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35772450)

Why should corporations pay heavy taxes in the first place? Because you need to pay them personally and you feel unfair that the rich guys don't have to pay?

How about the other direction - if billionaires can pay low taxes, then any non-billionaire should pay none. Anyone, corporations, rich people, you or me, having to pay high taxes to feed a bunch of bureaucrats is communism. You know it's idiotic when fucking red China has lower taxes.
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