The front page of the Sunday Times leads with the story of Sir Richard Branson and his apparent ‘quitting the country’ to save tax by living in his paradise Island in the Caribbean. Now I love the Isle of Man but if I owned Necker Island I’m sure I would find myself spending a lot of time there, even if there was no tax back home.
It is always interesting how stories of rich entrepreneurs leaving their “home” are always because they no longer want to pay tax, Mark Zuckerburg is probably the best example of this. However if taxes represented good value would these people feel the same, would they leave?
When we spend our hard earned money we are always looking for value. It could be a romantic meal for two, a family holiday or your next Apple product. If it makes you feel good or represented good value for money you probably did not mind handing over your credit card to pay for it. So is the question do you feel that you get value for money from paying your taxes? If entrepreneurs like Sir Richard had Government incentives to do more with their profits which in turn created more employment would that not be better, 40%+ tax or a whole new industry looking for workers?
Sir Richard Branson’s empire must employ thousands of people who all pay income tax and national insurance and spend their hard earned money every week in UK stores, what if he hadn’t started any businesses and just went to work one day like most of us? What if no one wanted to be the risk taker, the one that puts the family home up as collateral, the one that doesn’t fancy a 9 to 5. Would we be better for it? No, we wouldn’t. We need entrepreneurs, we need their drive and can do spirit to create work for the rest of us.
If I was leaving school or university now and wanted to work for Facebook or Virgin would I care that the chap that started these empires saved some money by living in Singapore or the Caribbean? No I would be excited by the opportunity that I now work in a thriving industry with a future. A future that means I now pay tax, that I can buy a home for my family and that one day maybe I will be inspired to become an entrepreneur.
If that one day for you is now email or phone me to discuss how Boston can help with your entrepreneurial dream.