Starbucks admit that they have not yet paid the millions pounds they promised they would pay to the government after a row over their tax.
Starbucks volunteers to pay £20 million in corporation tax but will it be enough to satisfy tax dodging campaigners?
Big brands Amazon, Starbucks and Google were questioned by MPs today on their entirely legal tax avoidance methods.
– HMRC Statement
Corporation tax is not a voluntary tax and Parliament sets out the rules and rates for businesses to follow. The public expects businesses to pay their fair share and HMRC will challenge, through the courts if necessary, any structures or tax payments that do not comply with the UK tax law.
HMRC has told me that in relation to Starbucks: "Corporation Tax is not a voluntary tax and Parliament sets out rules and rates for businesses to follow."
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".
Does anyone remember or ever heard of any company paying extra tax that wasn't due?
Corporation tax on profits that don't exist?
Starbucks' decision reminds us that for big firms tax is something to negotiate. Most of us have no choice.
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 Statement
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.
There is no sign of any move on corporation tax from Amazon either.
In a statement it says: "Amazon pays all applicable taxes in every jurisdiction that it operates within."
Google are not budging on their corporation tax position after Starbucks' announcement.
Starbucks "propose to pay a significant amount of corporation tax" regardless of whether the company is profitable during these years.
The key change is they won't use royalty payments to other parts of the business to deduct tax.
Also key, Starbucks have not yet agreed this deal with HMRC.