Starbucks Protests

Coffee chain Starbucks has been hit by protests today over its tax arrangements despite announcing changes to its payments

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  1. National

HMRC defends tax avoidance procedures

HMRC ensures that multinationals pay the tax due in accordance with UK tax law.

We have been very successful in reducing tax avoidance by large businesses in recent years.

We relentlessly challenge those that persist in avoiding tax and have recovered £29bn additional revenues from large businesses in the last six years, including £4.1bn in the last four years from transfer pricing enquiries alone.

These figures speak for themselves.

Corporation tax receipts are dependent on the wider economy and the corporation tax rate set by Parliament, which was reduced by 2 percentage points for 2011-12.

– HMRC spokesman


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Starbucks has no agreement with HMRC

Starbucks' UK boss tells me they haven't yet agreed how they'll make an extra tax payment. It could take the form of a "donation".

They haven't yet agreed with the tax man how they can actually pay tax on profits, if they don't make a profit.

Although he said repeatedly they're doing the "right thing" because customers felt "they should do more".

  1. National

Amazon: 'We pay all applicable taxes'

Amazon pays all applicable taxes in every jurisdiction that it operates within. Amazon EU serves tens of millions of customers and sellers throughout Europe from multiple consumer websites in a number of languages dispatching products to all 27 countries in the EU. We have a single European Headquarters in Luxembourg with hundreds of employees to manage this complex operation.

– Amazon Statement


Calls for tax avoidance action

Activists who took part in a sit-in at a Starbucks in Conduit Street demanded the Government takes urgent radical action on tax avoidance, rather than cutting the welfare state, childcare benefits, maternity benefits and housing benefits while dismantling the NHS.

UK Uncut described today's protests as their biggest ever national day of action

Starbucks has given in to public outrage and agreed to pay a fairer share tax in the UK. The company cut income tax by paying fees to other parts of its global business, such as royalty payments for use of the brand.

This meant it was effectively making a loss and therefore did not have to pay any corporation tax. As a result, it has not broken any law. Starbucks says it's always organised its tax affairs "according to the letter of the law" and added "the emotion of the issue has taken us a bit by surprise".

A spokesperson for the company said the decision to increase its income tax payments ''was the right thing for us to do. We've heard that loud and clear from our customers. And today, we're taking the actions necessary to pay more corporation tax in the UK."

Starbucks hit by store protests

Coffee chain Starbucks has been hit by protests today over its tax arrangements despite announcing changes to its payments.

The US-owned giant said it expects to pay around £10 million in UK corporation tax for each of the next two years, following the revelation that it paid just £8.6 million in 14 years of trading in Britain and nothing in the last three years.

Activist group UK Uncut has planned more than 40 demonstrations across the country, "transforming" Starbucks stores into refuges, creches and homeless shelters.

Protests at Starbucks Stores in London Credit: ITV London
Protests at Starbucks Stores in London Credit: ITV London
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