High street restaurant chain accused of complex, opaque offshore tax structure
RESTAURANT CHAIN NANDO’S is the latest big-name brand accused of operating a complex offshore tax avoidance scheme.
A £750m trust held in the Channel Islands sits at the top of the structure, which sees the South African chain’s capital flow through Malta, the Isle of Man, Guernsey, the Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg, Panama and the British Virgin Islands, the Guardian reported.
Profits then end up in owner Dick Enthoven’s Taro III trust in Jersey. The trust, not liable for UK tax, contains no less than £750m and possibly much more, the newspaper claimed.
While entirely legal, the structure is opaque significantly reduces the amount of tax the company and the family pay around the world.
Nando’s owners also legally reduce their UK corporate tax bill by making various permissible payments offshore, before then paying UK corporation tax on the remainder of its profits.
Nando’s said in a statement:”We want to set the record straight. Last year we paid over £12m in corporation tax, 23% of the operating profit we made. The year before we paid £10.4m.
“Serving chicken in so many different places does make our parent group’s financial structure complex, but we have always been open and honest about the tax we pay in the UK.
“We provided The Guardian with all of this information and further details on how our company is structured both in the UK and internationally. We are really disappointed with how they have chosen to interpret our success.”
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