15:36 13 November 2012
A head, a manager and a representative from three renowned companies faced a grilling on Sundayas they appeared before the Public Accounts Committee on suspicion of tax avoidance. The three big names involved in the session relates to Starbucks, Amazon and Google.
The Chief Financial Officer for Starbucks, Troy Alstead, said when questioned on the matter that the firm did not intentionally avoid making payments for UK corporation tax. The US coffee chain also declared that it pays worldwide high tax rates, according to reports.
Like with Amazon and Google, the heated discussion turned to Starbucks’ business office locations, and whether the company benefited from different tax jurisdictions. This relates to Starbucks’ regional headquarters being situated in the Netherlands.
At one point during the discussion, Mr. Alstead told MP’s: “We're not at all pleased about our financial performance here.”
Amazon and Google were also briefed on the topic, and it is thought that both groups admit to using beneficial European tax jurisdictions for their businesses in the UK.
The Director of Public Policy, Andrew Cecil, who represented internet giant Amazon at the session, listened to accusations that related to the firm’s profits and taxes. Mr. Cecil seemed unable to answer the bombardment of questions, adding that he would get back to the panel.
As reported by The Guardian, the huge online retailer had at least £3.3billion UK sales in 2011 and did not pay corporation tax on profits. It is understood Amazon are to face an investigation.
The Chief Executive Officer at Google, Matt Brittin, also came under fire from the committee. He told MP’s that the company uses the Republic of Ireland for their European business because of the favourable corporation tax that operates there.
Based on reports, Mr. Brittin stated that the search engine giant adhered to worldwide taxing laws.
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