11:49 04 December 2012
Coffee giant Starbucks has attracted unwanted attention, as it was revealed that it did not pay UK corporate tax for the last three years, despite successful operation in Britain. This fact has apparently enraged a lot of coffee drinkers; some even took to Twitter to say that they’ll be taking their business elsewhere.
On December 02, Starbucks, which has over 700 outlets in Britain, pledged to pay more tax. It met with HMRC officials to discuss the move.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Alexander said: "The comments by Starbucks this morning where they’ve said they want to come to the Treasury and HMRC to talk about their affairs is perhaps more of a reflection of something quite new which is the consumer pressure that has been put on those companies.
"They’ve reported that they’ve had lots of pressures from their customers and that’s a good thing.
"It’s good that the public exercises its rights there but what we can do as a government is put more resources at the disposal of HMRC to make sure they have the ability to get under the skin of what it is that companies and rich individuals too are doing in the tax system."
On the other hand, a Starbucks spokesman explained the reason for not paying corporation tax saying: "Corporation tax is a tax on profits and although we would very much like to and are moving in the right direction, we just don’t make a profit in the UK yet.
"Starbucks does however pay a number of other taxes in the UK. For example, we directly contribute more than £25million to £30million per year to the Exchequer in various taxes, including employers’ National Insurance contributions and business rates."
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