Vodafone can obviously afford lots of clever accountants to minimize the tax they pay. Whereas I certainly can’t, and I’m guessing you can’t either. Their accountants are so clever they funnel profits from different Vodafone companies around the world through a subsidiary based in Luxembourg – which is a tax haven. Thanks to this, they paid just £1,400 tax last year on profits of £3.5bn.
Yes, that’s right, £1,400 tax on profits of £3.5bn.
Now I saw that and I thought, ‘Bloody hell. *I* paid more tax than that. On a lot bloody less money. And I’m just a person, not a huge company.’
Then I thought, ‘LOADS of people pay more tax than that. I bet shop assistants in Vodafone shops pay more tax than that.’ So I thought I’d check.
I found out that retail advisers in Vodafone stores earn ‘up to’ £8.98 an hour.
Based on a 37.5hr week, that’s £336.75 a week, £17,511 a year.
Assuming our imaginary retail adviser is under 65, not registered blind, etc, their personal allowance (for 2010/11) was £6,475.
Which leaves £11,036 they have to pay tax on, at a rate of 20%.
So our shop assistant would have paid £2,207.20 in tax – i.e. £807.20 more than the Vodafone empire did on profits of billions of pounds.
So yes, amazingly enough, Vodafone paid less in tax than a shop assistant working in one of their stores. Is it me or is that batshit crazy?