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.

Latest ITV News reports

Hague: International agreement needed to tackle tax avoidance

Asked about tax avoidance on ITV1's Agenda, Foreign Secretary William Hague said international agreements are needed to tackle the issue.

He said: "This really needs international agreement to really sort out the international company moving its profits from one country to another. You need international rules and George Osborne and the German finance minister are leading the way on this to get those international rules agreed...

William Hague speaking on ITV1's The Agenda with Tom Bradby. Credit: ITV

"In the meantime, we've got the increased tax avoidance measures and this great thing of public pressure that you can feel whether from the audience tonight or the Public Accounts Committee.

"It will affect the sales of Amazon, Starbucks and whatever so some of them are feeling they have to do something about it anyway and that is a big improvement."

Watch The Agenda on ITV1 at 10.50pm.

Institute of Directors: 'Tax system needs simplifying'

It is very frustrating for many companies who pay large tax bills that some multinationals are able to avoid doing so.

The solution must be simplifying the tax system, not simply hectoring from Westminster. If these firms are immoral to take advantage of tax loopholes, then politicians are surely immoral for creating the loopholes in the first place.

Taxes should be simpler to cut down on avoidance and relieve the burden our complex tax code puts on companies who do try to do the right thing.

– Director General of the Institute of Directors Simon Walker

Advertisement

Downing St: Consumer boycott 'an issue for individuals'

Asked whether David Cameron would back calls for a consumer boycott of firms which avoid tax, the Prime Minister's official spokesman told a regular Westminster media briefing:

The issue for Government is how we tackle that tax avoidance, and the Treasury have been setting out what we intend to do today.

What we have to do in Government is make sure we are tackling that kind of aggressive tax avoidance. We are doing that in a number of ways. We are bringing in a general anti-avoidance rule, we are working with other countries.

The question of a boycott was "an issue for individuals", the spokesman said.

Clearly, we think that all companies should make a fair contribution to taxes and clearly that's a view that is shared by taxpayers and consumers.

Advertisement

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
Load more updates