The Guardian has apologised to Tesco for alleging the company was
involved in a £1bn corporation tax dodge involving Cayman Islands companies.
The newspaper said it had agreed to pay ‘a sum by way of damages to a charity
of Tesco’s choice and a payment by way of costs’.
When Accountancy Age contacted The Guardian for details
around figures and the designated charity, the spokesman was unwilling to
disclose further information.
An apology from The Guardian, which appeared on the front page of
the paper today, reads: ‘In these articles we reported that Tesco had created an
elaborate off-shore corporate structure to avoid paying up to £1bn in UK
corporation tax on profits from the sale of its UK properties and that it had
already successfully avoided corporation tax on the £500m profit it made from
its first two property sales.’
The Guardian acknowledges the reports were damaging and unfounded
and should not have been published.
‘We are happy to put the record straight and apologise to Tesco,’ the
The reports published include ‘Tesco’s £1bn tax avoiding plan – move to the
Cayman Islands’ and ‘Every little bit helps: tax free pot of gold at end of
Tesco’s rainbow’ on 27 February, 2008 and a related editorial and podcast.
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