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Report: JPMorgan close to £500m deal on tax

JPMorgan are close to a £500 million settlement with the Government over a tax-avoidance scheme for bonuses, according to the Financial Times.

A man walks into the JPMorgan headquarters at Canary Wharf in London May 11, 2012. Credit: REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

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.

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HMRC statement on Starbucks

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 Statement

UK Uncut will continue campaign against Starbucks

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

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.

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