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UK Government To Use PayPal For Identity Assurance

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the paypal-approved dept.

Government 74

judgecorp writes "A UK government contract has confirmed earlier reports that British citizens will have the option to use PayPal to accredit themselves for public services such as the new Universal Credit benefit system. Using PayPal might be a public relations goof, as PayPal's parent eBay is notoriously clever at avoiding UK taxes, recently paying only £1.2 million on profit of £789 million (around 0.15 percent)."

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All banks do it. (3, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 years ago | (#42648165)

It's not their fault, it's the Parliament making crappy laws, albeit most of them are lawyers, they either suck or are bought.
Paypal is a bank and like all banks they avoid paying taxes like the pest.

"Barclays Bank told by Treasury to pay £500m avoided tax"
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17181213 [bbc.co.uk]

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/10/18/banks-to-avoid-19bn-tax-bill-despite-bailout/ [liberalconspiracy.org]
http://goodbanking.org.uk/archives/684 [goodbanking.org.uk]

Re:All banks do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648243)

That's no excuse, given that Paypal isn't a bank. ;)

I'm quite surprised the submission noted the tax avoidance, rather than Paypal's willingness to seize funds on the slightest of whims. This is about as sensible as having local crimebosses to accredit people.

Re:All banks do it. (5, Informative)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 years ago | (#42648327)

PayPal Europe is a bank:

PayPal (Europe) S.Ã r.l. et Cie, S.C.A. is duly licenced as a Luxembourg credit institution in the sense of Article 2 of the law of 5 April 1993 on the financial sector as amended and is under the prudential supervision of the Luxembourg supervisory authority, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier, with registered office in L-1150 Luxembourg.

PayPal is NOT a bank (2, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about 2 years ago | (#42649125)

Hmm... strange. If you Google a bit for a list of banks in Luxembourg, PayPal does not appear on any of those lists. Can't find a BIC [wikipedia.org] for PayPal either. Which is not surprising, really.

If a (Dutch) bank where I have an account folds, my government guarantees the money in my account. At least up to a big minimum, in the order of 100k Euro or so (perhaps more, I dunno). Example: when Icelandic banks folded, the Dutch government covered losses for Dutch account holders. Perhaps except a few that had very large sums of money parked in those banks, but I'm not even sure about that. And that wasn't even Dutch banks folding.

I don't know what the rules in Luxembourg are, but you expect similar guarantees to hold for your PayPal account? Think again. And in fact, there's a number of stories around of examples where PayPal f**ked a customer, and they had essentially no recourse. Also I can directly transfer money from my bank account to any other bank within the EU (and outside EU too, with a little more patience), for any amount I like. Not so with PayPal.

So I guess the above statement doesn't mean what you think it means, and in any case doesn't mean the same as "bank". PayPal provides a service, that service deals with money, and to many it's a useful service. But that's all, it's not what we normally refer to as a "bank".

Re:PayPal is NOT a bank (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42649225)

And that wasn't even Dutch banks folding.

Rest assured that if the Dutch banks folded like those in Iceland, the Dutch government would almost certainly not be willing or able to cover the losses...

Re:PayPal is NOT a bank (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 years ago | (#42649513)

I doubt your google-fu as I found it's BIC really easily: http://www.swiftbic.com/swift-code.html?bank=PAYPAL-EUROPE,-S.A-R.L-ET-CIE,-S.C.A./ [swiftbic.com] - it's PPLXLULL in case you really want to know it.

Re:PayPal is NOT a bank (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42649995)

PPLXLULL XXX PAYPAL EUROPE, S.A R.L ET CIE, S.C.A. LUXEMBOURG LU

That's cool and all - I've learned how to look up a bank in Europe. Now, what can a guy do with that code? Is it what we would call a "routing code" here in the states? A routing code would prefix your account number on a check, or deposit slip, ensuring that the money was deposited or withdrawn from the correct account, no matter where in the world you might make the deposit or withdrawal.

Re:PayPal is NOT a bank (3, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | about 2 years ago | (#42650209)

Not just Europe -- the SWIFT system is used internationally, you can look up US banks on the same website. It only identifies the institution. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_9362 [wikipedia.org]

An IBAN identifies an account: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_13616 [wikipedia.org]

On my online banking (British account), if I were to transfer money to a US account I need the SWIFT code and the account number (and addresses). To transfer money to an Austrian account I need the IBAN and (for some reason) the SWIFT code, but not any other numbers.

(Only the local number is printed on my cheques -- of which I've used one in the last four years -- but the SWIFT code and IBAN are printed on all my statements, and also online.)

Re:All banks do it. (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 2 years ago | (#42650807)

Paypal is an electronic money issuer, not a bank, so covered by different regulations. Balances held with Paypal are not covered by the Luxembourg equivalent of FSCS or FDIC as they would be if they were a bank. However the money does have to be kept in a separate ring-fenced account, which banks are not required to do.

Re:All banks do it. (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 years ago | (#42650855)

As far as I know, what you say is true about US PayPal, but not so much for PayPal Europe (from Wikipedia article):

In 2007, PayPal Europe was granted a Luxembourg banking license, which, under European Union law, allows it to conduct banking business throughout the EU. It is therefore regulated as a bank by Luxembourg's banking supervisory authority, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF).

Re:All banks do it. (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 2 years ago | (#42650915)

In the US, PayPal is registered with the state governments as a money transfer agent.

The UK's FSA lists them as follows
http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register/firmPassports.do?sid=189419 [fsa.gov.uk]

Passports for:
470235 - PayPal (Europe) Sarl et Cie SCA
List of credit institutions able to exercise passporting rights in relation to activity 15 (issuing electronic money) of the Banking Directive.

Home State Regulator Directive
LUXEMBOURG BCD Inward Service
Activity Name
1 - Acceptance of deposits and other repayable funds from the public
2 - Lending including consumer credit, mortgage credit, factoring and financing of commercial transactions
5 - Issuing and administering other means of payment (e.g. travellers' cheques and bankers' drafts) insofar as this activity is not covered by point 4

Re:All banks do it. (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 2 years ago | (#42650981)

For comparison, here's what a bank registration looks like

http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register/firmPassports.do?sid=77499 [fsa.gov.uk]

Passports for:
149243 - Svenska Handelsbanken AB (Publ)
List of credit institutions able to exercise passporting rights in relation to activity 15 (issuing electronic money) of the Banking Directive.

Home State Regulator Directive
SWEDEN BCD Inward Branch
Activity Name
1 - Acceptance of deposits and other repayable funds from the public
10 - Money broking
11 - Portfolio management and advice
14 - Safe custody services
2 - Lending including consumer credit, mortgage credit, factoring and financing of commercial transactions
3 - Financial leasing
4 - Payment services as defined in Article 4(3) of Directive 2007/64/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2007 on payment services in the internal market(*)
5 - Issuing and administering other means of payment (e.g. travellers' cheques and bankers' drafts) insofar as this activity is not covered by point 4
6 - Guarantees and commitments
7a - Trading for own account or for account of customers - money market instruments (cheques, bills, CDs etc)
7b - Trading for own account or for account of customers - foreign exchange
7c - Trading for own account or for account of customers - financial futures and options
7d - Trading for own account or for account of customers - exchange andy interest rate instruments
7e - Trading for own account or for account of customers - transferrable securities
8 - Participation in securities issues and the provision of services related to such issues
9 - Advice to undertakings on capital structure, industrial strategy and related questions and advice and services relating to mergers and the purchase of undertakings
* - additional MiFID services and activities subject to mutual recognition under the BCD
A(1) Reception and transmission of orders in relation to one or more financial instruments
Investment Instrument
            C(10) Options, futures, swaps, forward rate agreements and any other derivative contracts ...
            C(5) Options, futures, swaps, forward rate agreements and any other derivative contracts ...

A(2) Execution of orders on behalf of clients
Investment Instrument
            C(1) Transferable securities
            C(10) Options, futures, swaps, forward rate agreements and any other derivative contracts ...
            C(5) Options, futures, swaps, forward rate agreements and any other derivative contracts ...

A(3) Dealing on own account
Investment Instrument
            C(1) Transferable securities
            C(10) Options, futures, swaps, forward rate agreements and any other derivative contracts ...
            C(5) Options, futures, swaps, forward rate agreements and any other derivative contracts ...
Home State Regulator Directive
SWEDEN BCD Inward Service
Activity Name

7e - Trading for own account or for account of customers - transferrable securities
* - additional MiFID services and activities subject to mutual recognition under the BCD
A(2) Execution of orders on behalf of clients
Investment Instrument
            C(1) Transferable securities

A(3) Dealing on own account
Investment Instrument
            C(1) Transferable securities

Re:All banks do it. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#42651785)

The problem is that PayPal accounts are not considered current accounts and not regulated like a normal bank account. For example your rights over not having your money arbitrarily frozen don't apply, and the protections against loss that bank accounts enjoy also do not apply.

They are a credit institution, not a consumer bank as most people would understand it.

Re:All banks do it. (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#42651191)

eBay is not a bank.

Re:All banks do it. (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#42655793)

eBay is not a bank.

Nor is my Ford Fiesta.

Re:All banks do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42655889)

Ford however is http://www.swiftbic.com/swift-code-FOMOUS33.html

Re:All banks do it. (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year ago | (#42657587)

The summary clearly says eBay (parent of PayPal) is dodging taxes in the UK. The comment was about all banks doing it. If the comment was about all auction houses doing it, or all merchants doing it. It would have been relevant.
 
I feel sad to have to explain this.

Re:All banks do it. (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#42657997)

The summary clearly says eBay (parent of PayPal) is dodging taxes in the UK. The comment was about all banks doing it. If the comment was about all auction houses doing it, or all merchants doing it. It would have been relevant. I feel sad to have to explain this.

eBay is not PayPal. I feel sad to have to explain this.

Re:All banks do it. (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year ago | (#42658163)

I know, if you read my post, you will know that I know. What I do not know is what made you think I did not know.

Re:All banks do it. (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#42659899)

Do I know or do I not know? All I know is that you know that I know you know I know, y'know?

Re:All banks do it. (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year ago | (#42659989)

I am not sure. Did you read the GGGP post? If you did, you know, if not you dont (this assumes you have a reasonable reading comprehension and are reasonably proficient in English). No, I dont know that you know I know you know.

PS: This is fun.

Re:All banks do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42652505)

And when you do pay taxes, you're helping Citibank's business (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/bankaccounts/s/selfassessment-cumber-uk.htm) since the Bank of England got out of that sort of banking.

PayPal is a Business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648201)

Since PayPal is a business and therefore interested in making money, do they still get to take a cut?

Re:PayPal is a Business (2)

Let's All Be Chinese (2654985) | about 2 years ago | (#42648297)

Some unspecified slice of a £25 million pie.

I think the UK government is too eager by a large factor to be "digital by default" (also a buzzword of theirs) and in fact is willing to, well, lose control over most of their vital governmental services over it. And of course that involves shelling out yet more dosh to random corporations that look hip and big enough. So expect cost overruns shortly. The corporations on the government's shortlist generally aren't bereft of payment, no.

Re:PayPal is a Business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648937)

It might just be that PayPal offered reduced transaction fees. Lower fees for the government, not when you move the money to a proper bank.

Also, I'm sure its a lot easier to use PayPal to pay bills & for groceries.

Re:PayPal is a Business (1)

ancientt (569920) | about 2 years ago | (#42648951)

Are you trolling? You're trolling right? Because, pretty much everything you say is the exact opposite of what this article is about. The previous system was the costly one, this is about reducing cost. The companies are hardly random (read the list!) The requirements and processes seem to be well thought out, at least from what I've gathered from the RSDOPS [cabinetoffice.gov.uk]

. (Really about 35 pages worth of pretty clear explanation and 10 you can skip.)

I mean, if you want to criticize Paypal, there are plenty of good reasons to do it. If you want to criticize the UK government, there are lots of valid reasons for that too. Just pick one of the dozens of good choices instead of ignoring TFA completely.

Re:PayPal is a Business (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#42655813)

The previous system was the costly one, this is about reducing cost.

Because we all know how good the UK government is at reducing costs, especially when they decide to outsource to the private sector (which is more or less what this is). Just look at the rail network...

Re:PayPal is a Business (2)

Marxdot (2699183) | about 2 years ago | (#42650711)

Indeed. This definitely has absolutely nothing to do with top politicians' share portfolios. Also, giving control of vital government services and lots of public money to random for-profit interests is definitely not congruent at all with the ideologies of the two ruling parties. Not at all.

More interesting than tax rate (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42648263)

Far more interesting than their effective tax rate would be how much of that money was stolen from their users?

These folks love to freeze accounts and sieze money for any reason they can find. Paypal should be regulated as a bank.

Re:More interesting than tax rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648439)

In Europe, it is: https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/about

"PayPal (Europe) S.à r.l. et Cie, S.C.A. is duly licenced as a Luxembourg credit institution in the sense of Article 2 of the law of 5 April 1993 on the financial sector as amended and is under the prudential supervision of the Luxembourg supervisory authority, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier, with registered office in L-1150 Luxembourg."

Re:More interesting than tax rate (4, Insightful)

cusco (717999) | about 2 years ago | (#42648479)

And even more amusing is the thought of how many times PayPal has been hacked and customer data stolen over the years. And they're going to use PayPal as accreditation?

Re:More interesting than tax rate (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#42651809)

PayPal actually thinks someone else is me. They got into my eBay and PayPal accounts years ago and although eBay sorted everything out PayPal wouldn't accept what had happened. They are the same company, eBay owns PayPal, but even so they are convinced this other guy is me and there is nothing I can do to convince them otherwise.

I even involved the Financial Services Authority and they couldn't get it sorted. If the government accepted PayPal as an accredited form of identification this person could access government services as me, and apparently there would be nothing I could do about it.

Re:More interesting than tax rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648587)

As if we regulate our banks, anyway. We let them take any risks they like, screw everyone, then bail them out. Because to actually regulate what they do, well, you know, soshalism.

Re:More interesting than tax rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648671)

Paypal should be regulated as a bank.

Indeed! Kill it, so that one of the better alternatives takes its place.

Re:More interesting than tax rate (1)

redw00dtrees (2820669) | about 2 years ago | (#42650579)

Absolutely true. I cannot recall how many people have had their accounst closed, shut down, leaving them in very precarious business situations.Ebay and Pay Pal need I say more except get another card processor. Pay Pals fees are exorbitant and should be regulated as a bank. http://golftecniques.com/ [golftecniques.com]

WTF? (4, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#42648309)

And when paypal puts your account on hold or someone deletes it then what?

Re:WTF? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#42649321)

You no longer exist.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42652689)

so they've already added the 'right to be forgotten' -- they're just a little lacking in implementation.

the silly part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648351)

"eBay is notoriously clever at avoiding UK taxes" that is just silly!
  eBay helps advertise, they are not a seller. The Sellers and Buyers may have tax obligations, but not eBay.

Re:the silly part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648793)

The Sellers and Buyers may have tax obligations, but not eBay.

Err, what?

EBAY (UK) LIMITED
9TH FLOOR
107 CHEAPSIDE
LONDON
UNITED KINGDOM
EC2V 6DN
Company No. 03726028

They have a UK-based company making revenue in the UK ( from a cut of those sales ). There are therefore subject to Corporation Tax in the UK on any profits arising.

Re:the silly part (1)

queazocotal (915608) | about 2 years ago | (#42648797)

Ebay is not free.
They get paid for every completed sale.
They also get paid for advertising on the eBay site, for the actions of their subsidiary Paypal, and other money-raising activities in the UK.

Just what everyone needs..... (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | about 2 years ago | (#42648377)

More avenues for easy identity theft!

Re:Just what everyone needs..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648507)

After reading your comment, I went to check out the registration form. Looks like anyone can register as an UK citizen in Paypal. How is this "identity assurance" at all?

Celebrate Martin Luther King's legacy! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648403)

Sign the petition! [whitehouse.gov]

Re:Celebrate Martin Luther King's legacy! (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42650065)

I don't think so. If all those white boys choose to be peter puffers, while all the rest of the world is screwing the women, then the white boys deserve to die off. Get it on, Adam and Steve, don't worry about all those brown folk. Give it another couple generations, and you'll be forgotten.

Good for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648467)

They will most likely have their accounts frozen.

How does this work with the USA Patriot Act ? (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 2 years ago | (#42648517)

So the Gov't of the USA will now get to know every time I identify myself to my own government ? What the hell as Francis Maude been smoking -- a politician that must have actually inhaled.

Re:How does this work with the USA Patriot Act ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648645)

ehhh the UK government....

Re:How does this work with the USA Patriot Act ? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 2 years ago | (#42649729)

Look up at the top of this window, and note the first word of this article's title.

Re:How does this work with the USA Patriot Act ? (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42650119)

I assumed that he was referring to the agreement between the US and the UK. The US is not supposed to spy on US citizens. The UK supposedly doesn't spy on UK citizens. But, they long ago agreed to permit each other to spy on the other nation's citizens, then share what they know.

So, yeah, every time a UK citizen identifies to a UK business or agency via PayPal, the US is going to see it, and report it, assuming that one or both nations has an "interest" in that citizen.

Time to leave Paypal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648529)

Any business that ends up in bed with a government should be abandoned as quickly as possible. Your information can no longer said to be safe.

PayPal, the paragon of trust and reliability. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648533)

Seriously, whom did they have to bribe to get that?

Why is everyone so hung up on taxes? (0)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | about 2 years ago | (#42648617)

Look, if the tax rates were reasonable, you wouldn't see people going to extremes to avoid paying them.

Re:Why is everyone so hung up on taxes? (0)

Pax681 (1002592) | about 2 years ago | (#42648707)

Look, if the tax rates were reasonable, you wouldn't see people going to extremes to avoid paying them.

bull and fucking shit bud. it is a speciality of those on high incomes to flat out do their utmost to avoid ANY taxation not matter the tax rate,hence the offshore schemes.
what planet have you been living on as it seems you have only recently moved here?

Re:Why is everyone so hung up on taxes? (1)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | about 2 years ago | (#42650277)

bull and fucking shit bud. it is a speciality of those on high incomes to flat out do their utmost to avoid ANY taxation not matter the tax rate,hence the offshore schemes. what planet have you been living on as it seems you have only recently moved here?

Just saying man, countries with reasonable tax rates (3%-5%) don't have these problems. It's simple business logic, and you can watch it play out time and time again. If it costs more to configure a tax avoidance scheme (pricey to begin with, especially the one Google uses) that it does to just pay the things, then paying taxes becomes worth while. Incidentally, what's wrong with avoiding taxes if you're not breaking the law to do so?

Re:Why is everyone so hung up on taxes? (1)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about 2 years ago | (#42650673)

So you think that a tax rate of less than 5% is reasonable. Reasonable for what? Dunno which country you are in, but a country has to provide services somehow. The lower the tax rate, the lower the quality of the services.

Personally I would rather pay more and have a fairer and more equitable society.

What is wrong with avoiding paying taxes? What is wrong with paying your fair share under any circumstances? It is ethically wrong. The problem is that the law is an ass, and is so complicated that people with time and money can always find ways of avoiding paying their dues.

Re:Why is everyone so hung up on taxes? (1)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | about 2 years ago | (#42651581)

So you think that a tax rate of less than 5% is reasonable. Reasonable for what? Dunno which country you are in, but a country has to provide services somehow. The lower the tax rate, the lower the quality of the services.

That's absolutely not true. There are countries with low and even non-existent tax corporate rates that have civil societies, where the citizens do just fine. Hong Kong and Singapore come to mind. Ireland has a very low corporate tax rate relative to England or France and they do just fine. The only thing higher taxes pay for is more pointless excess in government. More waste, more unneeded unaccountable agencies, and cool gadgets that an ever more draconian system is using to take away more of your liberties.

Personally I would rather pay more and have a fairer and more equitable society.

Did you just use the term fair and equitable, when you're talking about taking equity away from people that have earned it? How is that fair? What did a government do to deserve Google's money? Exist? I'm sorry friend, that's not enough.

What is wrong with avoiding paying taxes? What is wrong with paying your fair share under any circumstances?

That's the issue, isn't it. They are paying their fair share. They're paying what is legally required of them, given their organizational setup. And yet, this still isn't enough.

It is ethically wrong.

In no country is a corporation ethically bound to do anything but build a return on investment to stock holders. By insisting Google should pay more in taxes than they are, you are depriving those stock holders of money they're entitled to. Many, in fact the vast majority of those stock holders are every day, normal people with jobs, even retirements. Regular people depend on this money. Why would you rob them like this? I don't know man, that sounds a lot more unethical to me.

The problem is that the law is an ass,

All the more reason they shouldn't be entitled to more than they are legally due.

and is so complicated that people with time and money can always find ways of avoiding paying their dues.

Everybody needs to make a living. Governments harm people's ability to do so. And they're never satisfied. They're always asking for more, even when they don't deserve or require it. Google isn't evading taxes. Neither is Amazon or Ebay. And technically, governments can't require they pay more without completely revamping the tax system. So now they're taxing your personal information, and you (the entity that actually owns it) get nothing. How on earth is that fair and equitable to anyone but the government?

Re:Why is everyone so hung up on taxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42650753)

Just saying man, countries with reasonable tax rates (3%-5%) don't have these problems

Yes they do.

Furthermore, that is not a reasonable figure.

Re:Why is everyone so hung up on taxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648773)

Reasonable in who's terms?

Surely, given your view point, the corporations are only avoiding tax to the point of being reasonable and not an inch futher than what they believe is fair?

Face facts already. If someone tells you "you can work in my room for 20% of your profits" you do what's agreed to. Or you don't. What you don't do is say "Sure, ok" then pay less than promised.

For those who say "Well sure, see how you like it with out X company"...

Fine! We'll let someone else (who pays the rent) build $Company, with hookers and blackjack. If it's oh so needed.

Re:Why is everyone so hung up on taxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648805)

You only need your tax guy to save you one pound more in taxes than he costs for it to be worth hiring him. We do need reasonable tax rates, but people are always going to have an incentive to get out of paying them regardless of the reasonableness of the rates.

The only way to fix this problem is to make the tax code ridiculously simple so there aren't all kinds of loopholes and exceptions.

Re:Why is everyone so hung up on taxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42649879)

Well, yes. If the tax rate was 0% no one would bother avoiding it. And as long as the tax rate is lower than the cost of evading taxes no one rational will bother evading taxes except on principle.

So I extrapolate from this that your concept of a "reasonable tax rate" is "less than the salary of the accountants necessary to look for loopholes". That's probably fairly reasonable if your the one paying. It is not however particularly reasonable if you're the one looking to run a government on whatever money you can raise in taxes.

All I have to say is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42649493)

...AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Joy! I don't exist (4, Interesting)

Cederic (9623) | about 2 years ago | (#42649663)

Paypal have me blacklisted and refuse to take payments from me.

Tried buying something last week, seller's website said "VISA/Mastercard" so I used my credit card. Refused. Used my other credit card. Refused. Checked with both card companies: Neither had been asked to authorise payment.

Got a friend to buy on my behalf. He paid with credit card; got a bill from PayPal.

It all goes back to the first time I tried using my card to buy something online from a seller that used Paypal for their card payments. I entered my details, was told payment had been taken, then got an email asking me to provide details for my Paypal account.

I said no. Then I found out that Paypal had already debited my card, but were holding onto the cash instead of sending it through to the seller.

So I wrote to them telling them to send the money through. They refused. So I wrote to them telling them to give my money back. They refused. So I contacted VISA, the OFT and my card supplier stating fraudulent activity.

I got my money back. Paypal blacklisted me. Not a major problem really, except for idiots that use them as their sole card payment solution.

I need to hit them with a SAR, find out what their system says about me. But using them to ID myself to the Government? Not a fucking hope. Which is frankly a good thing.

Re:Joy! I don't exist (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42650133)

Chuckle. Same problem here :D

Had PayPal many years ago. Let the account sit idle for a while, then ultimately decided to close it out since I no longer used it.
Tried to close it out, and met a brick wall.

In order to "close" out my account, I needed to provide PayPal with my phone number, bank account info, and a few other pieces of
information they didn't have on me. To which I thought " Why the hell would I give you my other info if I'm trying to CLOSE the account ? "

I told them no, they told me they would freeze the account until I complied. To which end I told them they could have the $12 in the account
I could give two shits about it. I changed my password to some god-awful-mega-sized-phrase, and let it rot for a year or two.

In the interim, they would send me hate mail about how they were going to close out my account if I didn't comply. . . which I found funny
since that was my original intention to begin with :D

Ultimately, they finally did close it out ( they kept the cash ) and blacklisted me from using their services so I occasionally run into the same
issues with online sellers who use PayPal as their credit card gateway but aren't up front about it. No issues though, I simply make a note of

If a site is PayPal only, I don't bother shopping there. Easy as that.

Ask me how much sleep I lose over not being able to use PayPal services these days ? lol

Trust (4, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | about 2 years ago | (#42649839)

Why would anyone trust a company that pretends to be a bank, but is not regulated like a bank, and so can disappear your money in an instant and leave you whistling in the wind for YOUR money? Did the government somehow find if difficult to find a company more trusted?

Re:Trust (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#42651079)

Why would anyone trust a company that pretends to be a bank, but is not regulated like a bank, and so can disappear your money in an instant and leave you whistling in the wind for YOUR money? Did the government somehow find if difficult to find a company more trusted?

Maybe eBay finally acquired the UK government?

PayPal became a mostly mandatory form of payment after eBay bought PayPal...

Re:Trust (1)

Inda (580031) | about a year ago | (#42655757)

It is regulated like a bank, in the UK, which is where this story originates.

How is this possible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42650483)

http://s0ciallyh0used.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/now-tell-me-its-not-all-a-big-plan/

http://s0ciallyh0used.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/my-head-wants-to-explode-all-over-the-elite/

Why are the people in the UK not rebelling against this farce?

@socially_Housed.

Britain = nation of losers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42652355)

Not only is the UK a police state but it is also apparently run by idiots.

Good grief, no wonder the colonies rebelled ...

UK is cunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42652935)

Fuck off and die you stupid british cunts.

Clearly this is where it's going (1)

Shrike Valeo (2198124) | about a year ago | (#42655991)

I have few dealings with Paypal, but whenver I think of them, this comes to mind: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/04/paypal-buyer-destroys-violin [guardian.co.uk]

Speaking as a Brit, I would gladly stand up against this, like many others no doubt, but since when did Government put something forward for our opinion and actually consider it? They just throw money at advisers to decide for them

wait a minute (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#42656605)

Paypal in the US uses a credit reporting company to verify identities. They don't actually do it themselves. How are they supposed to do it themselves in England?

Could be popular (1)

TomC2 (755722) | about a year ago | (#42656777)

For better or worse, I could see this being liked by the general public. At present, government sites all require you to have a "Government Gateway" username and password. The password strength requirements are understandably quite strict, but what is really annoying is the usernames are automatically generated and completely unmemorable (mine is something like F093KHV894JMNB - I made that up, but you get the idea). If it was a site I access every day then I might remember, but once a year for to do my tax return, no chance. They even almost admit they are unmemorable, because they used to issue credit-card-sized pieces of paper with the usernames printed on them (which I would usually lose...)

The procedure for requesting new login details also involves phoning a call centre and waiting for details to come in snail mail.

For all the privacy concerns, I can actually remember my Paypal login, so chances are I would use this feature rather than go through all this once a year. In fact it would probably be easier to request a paper tax return.

Heathen haters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42657279)

You don't believe in the dogma of PayPal Infallibility?

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