Starbucks Plays Down 'Threats' Over Tax Row
Starbucks is distancing itself from reports that it threatened to pull millions of pounds of investment out of the UK because of "cheap shots" from the Prime Minister over tax.
The company's UK managing director Kris Engskov demanded talks after David Cameron said tax-avoiding firms need to "wake up and smell the coffee", according to The Sunday Telegraph.
The Prime Minister's use of the phrase in a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos was widely interpreted as a direct attack on Starbucks, which has faced criticism for not paying UK corporation tax.
A "source close to the firm" told the newspaper: "The PM is singling the business out for cheap shots, a company that, it should not be forgotten, has pledged to pay tax now and into the future."
The US coffee chain has faced criticism after it emerged that since its arrival in Britain in 1998, it has paid £8.5m in corporation tax, despite total sales of £3bn.†
It later agreed voluntarily to pay additional tax of at least £20m over the next two years.
Sources close to the business have reportedly said that plans announced last year to invest £100m in new UK branches could be put on hold, meaning fewer jobs will be created.
But in a statement, Starbucks said: "We had a very constructive meeting which was long-scheduled. We do not discuss the details of our government meetings but can say that we do not recognise how it has been reported.
"Starbucks agrees with the Prime Minister that all businesses should pay their fair share.
"In the UK, we employ 9,000 people, contribute £300m a year to the economy and are forgoing tax deductions that will make the Exchequer at least £20m better off."
Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps told Sky News that the Government was not singling out any company for criticism.
He told Sky's†Dermot Murnaghan: "I don't think we'd ever single out a single company but I do think that companies in this country need to pay their way and that applies to that company (Starbucks) and any other company you'd care to mention.
"It certainly applies to the millions of smaller businesses in this country, people who work very hard ... and are paying their fair share to taxes all the way through. The same rules have to apply to everyone."
what do you think?
Wonder what's the yanks would have done if it was an British company over there dodging tax?????
Brought out the GUNS no doubt.
James R McCulloch
Thrown the book at us. Period.
No problem I am sure Costa coffee will fill the spaces in the high street
let them leave the country then, and we can replace them with british coffee shops
The sheer arrogance of these people. Kick them out and take their coffee shops over, slash prices.
Good for Starbucks. Every company should be aiming to minimise their tax bill by legal means. The same goes for small limited companies, self employed and individuals. There are thousands of accountancy firms in this country that millions of companies and people use just for this reason. Yes, the Government should close as many tax loopholes as they can, but there will always be ways to find future loopholes. People in the UK need to enter the real World and stop whinging and whining
Are you living on a different planet?
Sunshine you are right. its the Tax laws that need sorting out and quick
OK SUNSHINE,I would like to be exempt from paying tax,i am 71 yrs. old, who do i need to speak to? Mr. Cameron or Mr. Clegg or maybe Mr. Osborne? my tax is deducted at source,how can i stop this happening,i have not agreed to pay tax AFTER my retirement,maybe the government are taking money of me illegaly, i don't know. PLEASE HELP.
Why do they think they can threaten the British high st sod em
so if nobody pays tax, then who f unds the state? you imbecile!
Sunshine, or is it Sunstroke ? You say these companies should avoid paying the tax, and then say the government should prevent them from avoiding tax ? Which is it to be. You don't half talk some tripe. I do sometimes, but just to get people going, but you believe what you say, and it's all bull.
Robert Move out of the country live in a tax haven Only return for i believe its 60 days a year all the formula 1 drivers do it , shaun Connery, Roger Moore, Jacky Collins etc etc
Drink tea not coffee
They got away with it cos they are fortune 500 this ain't made up stuff look at how they manipulate the markets
Go to the pub!
Bye, bye.... shut the door on the way out! :)
No not NOW and in Future PAST YEARS INCLUDED how about Past 25 years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
RICH BOY / POOR BOY RICH GIRL/POOR GIRL TORIE BOY = Remember Peoples TAX always PAID CORRECT PEOPLE???
Don't go there any more. Crooks
Ah Starbucks, where they sell turgid drainwater which you stir with a stick and charge you 2.50 for the pleasure. I think they should pay a special levy for their nerve.