Tax is usually a serious subject, right? And controversial too, with a huge outcry in recent years about the tax havens where many giant online retailers are based, and their complex schemes to minimise tax.
But now the business of tax has been given the spoof treatment, with a new book of 50 ideas to persuade and encourage Amazon to pay more of it.
What’s more, the ebook, titled “50 Ways to Get Amazon to Pay More Tax”, is available on the Kindle, Amazon’s own e-reader, as well as from other outlets.
Author PK Munroe admits this is “a bit cheeky” but says it seemed the perfect place for it. “If the book does well, they will pay more tax, maybe.”
“What Amazon are doing with their Luxembourg tax haven and tax-minimisation schemes is perfectly legal” said Munroe. “So until the tax laws change, the best we can hope for is that they cough up something for good public relations, like Starbucks did”. The coffee giant is said to have paid the UK tax authorities some £20m after a public outcry about their paying no corporation tax here.
The Ideas in the book range from the unusual to the absurd, with plenty of light-hearted suggestions for “consumer disobedience”, including:
•dressing up as a tax inspector and hanging around Amazon’s offices,
•encouraging them to pay by letting them re-name the river Trent as ‘The Amazon’,
•setting up barrage balloons on the roof of your house to interfere with deliveries by Amazon drones.
Many suggestions refer to Amazon’s strict treatment of its warehouse employees, whose toilet breaks are limited and timed; one proposal suggests applying similar rules at Amazon’s shareholder meetings. Other ideas focus on Amazon's steady march towards becoming the biggest retailer on Earth.
"Toilets and world domination", said Munroe, "are always good for a laugh".
He notes that because the ebook is short, the price is low. “Also, I don't want this putting me in a higher tax bracket.”
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About the Author
2015 saw the publication of 'The Manopause Manual', an important guide to men of a certain age (but not their wives) about how to make it through this tricky time. Should we get a beard, a sports car, or a shed? Can we ignore modern obsessions with exercise and food? What tips from psychology will help when pitching to our othe half for a lads holiday? The answers are here. His earlier book 'How Not to be a Tourist in London' is now (2015) available as a paperback, fully reviesed and with new chapters. The ebook has also been massively updated. Alleged to be an insider's guide, the curious insights and unexpected facts create an air of uncertainty about how London really operates. Is it for real? PK's best-known paperback book, You Can Stick It (Dec 2010) is an important milestone in the history of publishing - the first satirical sticker book for grown ups to be produced since the repeal of the Corn Laws. Visit his blog at http://youcanstickit.blogspot.com to look at some example stickers. There's an images-only ebook of 'You Can Stick It' now, so round 70 satirical, surreal and frankly silly sticker designs can be viewed at a very reasonable price. The stickers are not peelable, however. Munroe's first book, The Thursday Night Letters (2007) outlines schemes and ideas to improve society and make money, generated in the white heat of the innovative furnace that is a London pub on a Thursday evening. Odd but just-plausible concepts were pitched to the Royal family, captains of industry, Sir Alex Ferguson, and others. The book consists of his letters and their replies. The Guardian called it "a delicious satire" while Peter Jones of BBC TV's Dragons' Den found it "hilarious in the extreme". Now re-named 'The Pub Letters', this is available as an ebook on Amazon, and in all other formats for just $0.99c, from Smashwords