So Starbucks Finally Paid Up!

"We Keep Our Bucks"

“We Keep Our Bucks”

I read with interest this last week that the coffee chain Starbucks have finally paid the UK tax man the Corporation Tax they owe, or at least part of it. So that’s one down and more to come, hopefully, with Google and Amazon the remaining main defaulters. We, the less well off, seldom get a chance at the opportunities these big multi-national companies have to duck taxes, but there again, we do not have all the high-powered lawyers they have. Starbucks admitted they had not paid any Corporation Tax on sales worth £400 million in the years between 2009 and 2012, which should have netted the Treasury £92 million at 23%. That amount of money would have bought a lot of apples!

Whichever way you look at it, these companies hire the best lawyers and economists with one thought in mind: How can we get around the tax laws? Mind you the filthy rich are at it too, and if just 50% of these people paid what they owe, we, the rest, would be paying much less and the financial crisis would be over. It was interesting to read that Starbucks said they ‘made a loss last year’, why, because they were siphoning off the profits by “paying fees to other areas of its business — such as ‘royalty payments’ for the use of the brand”. How convenient!

Demonstration

Demonstration

Now they have suddenly decided to cough up what they owe for the tax year 2012, and in a statement they said: “We listened to our customers in December and so decided to forgo certain deductions which would make us liable to pay £10 million in corporation tax this year and a further £10 million in 2014”.  Yea, Right! I suppose the fall-off in custom and the demonstrations outside various branches had nothing to do with that decision. Face it Starbucks, you finally got found out!

My only remaining question is, when are they going to cough up the back taxes of £92 million?

Roy.

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