Starbucks hit by tax protests

Coffee chain Starbucks has been hit by protests at branches across the country over its tax arrangements, despite announcing changes to its payments. Dozens of activists chanted "pay your tax" and waved placards and banners outside a London branch.

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UK Uncut will continue campaign against Starbucks

The view of a Starbucks store in Nottingham
The view of a Starbucks store in Nottingham Credit: Lewis Stickley/PA Wire

The campaign organisation UK Uncut says that planned protests outside 40 Starbucks stores will take place this weekend, despite the organisation offering to pay £10 million pounds in corporation tax.

Spokeswoman Hannah Pearce said that offering to pay some tax "if and when it suits" did not stop the company being a tax avoider.

"Today's announcement is just a desperate attempt to deflect public pressure" she continued.

"There is no money yet, and hollow promises on press releases don't fund women's refuges or child benefits."

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

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Doing the right thing is 'part of the DNA' of Starbucks

Today, I am announcing changes which will result in Starbucks paying higher corporation tax in the UK - above what is currently required by law. Specifically, in 2013 and 2014 Starbucks will not claim tax deductions for royalties or payments related to our intercompany charges.

In addition, we are making a commitment that we will propose to pay a significant amount of corporation tax during 2013 and 2014 regardless of whether our company is profitable during these years.

We are still working through some of the calculations, but we believe we could pay or prepay somewhere in the range of £10m in each of the next two years in addition to the variety of taxes we already pay.

Doing the right thing is part of the DNA of our company (and of the thousands of people who work here that we call “partners,” because each of them have equity in the form of shares in our company) and over these past 14 years we’ve been doing business here in the UK, the most important asset we have built and developed with our customers is trust.

– Kris Engskov, Starbucks UK

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