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.
Coffee chain Starbucks is braced for protests 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 said it was planning more than 40 demonstrations across the country, "transforming" Starbucks stores into refuges, creches and homeless shelters.
– Sarah Greene, a UK Uncut activist
It is an outrage that the government continues to choose to let multinationals like Starbucks dodge millions in tax while cutting vital services like refuges, creches and rape crisis centres. It does not have to be this way. The government could easily bring in billions by clamping down on tax avoidance that could fund vital services by clamping down on tax dodging.
A spokesman for JPMorgan, who are close to a settlement with the Government over a tax-avoidance scheme, told the Financial Times:
– JPMorgan spokesman
Our employee trust has always been transparent ... and its independent trustee has consistently paid taxes in accordance with UK tax law.
JPMorgan are close to a £500 million settlement with the Government over a tax-avoidance scheme for bonuses, according to the Financial Times.
The investment bank is reportedly winding up a Jersey-based trust and has asked more than 2,000 current and former staff to contribute to the settlement.
The news comes with corporations' tax affairs facing increased scrutiny, after Starbucks this week responded to public anger by volunteering to pay millions of pounds to the Treasury.
– 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.