Sunday, 16 June 2013


Coffee giant Starbucks has paid £5m in UK corporation tax - its first such tax payment since 2009 - the company has announced.

A company spokeswoman said it had listened to its customers and would pay another £5m later this year. That's a lot of coffee beans!

The move follows pressure from politicians and campaigners, and an agreement by world leaders last week to clamp down on corporate tax avoidance.

Starbucks has only reported taxable profit once in 15 years in the UK. It announced late last year it would pay more corporation tax after a public outcry and an investigation by MPs.
"We listened to our customers in December and so decided to forgo certain deductions which would make us liable to pay £10m in corporation tax this year and a further £10m in 2014." a Starbucks spokeswoman said.
Starbucks reportedly paid just £8.6m in corporation tax in the UK over 14 years and nothing in the last four years - despite sales of £400m last year.

As part of its tax affairs, the firm transferred some money to a Dutch sister company in royalty payments, bought coffee beans from Switzerland and paid high interest rates to borrow from other parts of the business.
During an investigation into corporate tax avoidance, the company's global chief financial officer told a committee of MPs last year that the tax deal struck with Dutch authorities was "an attractive reason" for basing operations there.

 The Public Accounts Committee of MPs said last year it "found it difficult to believe" Starbucks "was trading with apparent losses for nearly every year of its operation in the UK". So stick that in your skinny latte frappuccino - with or without sprinkles!
What is the attraction of coffee houses anyway? People wandering around with cartons  of - I don't know what - trying to find somewhere to sit and proclaming - "Oh, look - there's Tarquin over there! He must be back from his holiday in the Maldives! Such fun!" What is wrong with the British pub where the architect can rub shoulders with the artisan and class distinction and accidents of birth remain firmly outside the door!
And here's another thing - why do people who go to these places have their professional status emblazoned on the back of their garments? One young lady last week - as I was passing a Costabucks - had the word "BARISTA" displayed on the reverse of her rather dull shirt. I thought - not only is it vulgar to tell everyone your business - so you're employed within the legal profession - get you missus! - but your spelling is appalling to boot! You don't see Buzz Aldrin in a coffee house with "Retired Astronaut" on his back or Sean Connery and "Deluded Scottish Nationalist" displayed for all to see...Very sad! 


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