TaxCorporate TaxStarbucks pays no UK tax since 2009

Starbucks pays no UK tax since 2009

Starbucks pays just £8.6m since arriving in UK in 1998

AN INVESTIGATION has found coffee giant Starbucks has paid almost no tax in the UK over the past decade – and none since 2009.

Since the chain arrived on British high streets 14 years ago, it has handed just £8.6m over to HM Revenue & Customs, despite sales of more than £3bn, findings from Reuters showed.

Starbucks is the second-largest restaurant or café chain in the world after McDonald’s, which paid HMRC about £80m on sales of £3.6bn, according to its UK accounts. By comparison, Kentucky Fried Chicken, the third-largest global restaurant or café chain paid £36m in tax on sales of £1.1bn, according to its books.

The café minimised its tax liabilities by recording substantial losses in its UK accounts year after year, despite telling shareholders the business is profitable.

In 2009, accounts filed in with Companies House claimed a record loss of £52m for the financial year to 27 September, while in a seperate discussion CFO Troy Alstead allegedly told investors that the UK unit was “profitable”, reports Reuters.

For 2010, the UK unit reported a £34m loss, but told investors that sales continued to grow. Accounts for the year to September 2011 showed a £33m loss.

While there is no suggestion Starbucks has contravened any laws, it has drawn particular criticism due to the stark contrast between its low tax bills and its upbeat message to investors.

Labour MP Michael Meacher, who last month presented an anti-avoidance bill to Parliament, said Starbucks’ practice “is certainly profoundly against the interests of the countries where they operate and is extremely unfair … they are trying to play the taxman, game him”.

“It is disgraceful,” he added.

A spokeswoman for Starbucks said: “We seek to be good taxpayers and to pay our fair share of taxes … we don’t write this tax code; we are obligated to comply with it, and we do.”

Related Articles

Big names, little tax: Airbnb, Facebook, Kellogg’s, eBay

Corporate Tax Big names, little tax: Airbnb, Facebook, Kellogg’s, eBay

1m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
EU divided over radical tax reforms targeting tech giants

Corporate Tax EU divided over radical tax reforms targeting tech giants

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
How to educate your clients about tax avoidance

Corporate Tax How to educate your clients about tax avoidance

2m Clear Books | Sponsored
HMRC tax evasion assistance requests double in five years

Corporate Tax HMRC tax evasion assistance requests double in five years

5m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Spring Budget 2017: Making Tax Digital

Business Regulation Spring Budget 2017: Making Tax Digital

9m Shereen Ali, Deputy Editor
CGT clampdown nets HMRC £124m – but could lead to increase in use of avoidance schemes

Corporate Tax CGT clampdown nets HMRC £124m – but could lead to increase in use of avoidance schemes

2m Austin Clark, Reporter
‘Google tax’ nets HMRC £281m

Corporate Tax ‘Google tax’ nets HMRC £281m

2m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
OTS report: Corporation tax should follow accounts

Corporate Tax OTS report: Corporation tax should follow accounts

4m Alia Shoaib, Reporter