Many companies are paying their rightful share of corporation tax, but there are several who do not. And with the big Christmas shopping rush getting fully underway, some of the biggest tax dodgers are set to make a fortune in the next few weeks. These businesses rely on their brand name to make them millions, but their brand name can also be their downfall if they are not seen to be playing fairly, especially in times of austerity.
By keeping the tax dodging companies in the public eye we’ll make sure that government are forced to offer real solutions to the problem, and not just try to sweep it under the carpet. Unfortunately, until there is a change in the law, there is not much we can do, but we thought you might be interested in seeing what companies actually pay and how they get around paying a fair amount. You never know, it may even influence where you do your shopping this Christmas…
Amazon.co.uk is actually based in Luxembourg, but despite having sales of over £3.35 billion in the UK last year however, they only paid £1.8 million in taxes.
The huge technology giant Apple pocketed an estimated £6 billion in sales last year, but only paid just £10 million on taxes. This amounts to a paltry 2 percent tax.
Have a guess at how much tax Vodafone paid last year compared to their sales profits? None, absolutely none.
Starbucks have paid no tax in the last three years and despite recording sales of around £3.1 billion in the previous 13 years have only paid £8.6 million in taxes. They have however, admitted that they ‘must do more’ and are currently in talks with HRMC.
Ikea have managed to legally halve their corporation tax bill in the UK by channelling off their profits abroad in the form of royalty payments to a sister company.
Did you know that Boots was bought out by a private equity firm and its HQ is now situated in Switzerland? This means that the UK has currently lost an estimated £100 million in taxes as a direct result.
The US owners have now moved control of Cadburys to (guess where?) yes, Switzerland again. It is thought that this clever ploy will result in millions lost to the HRMC.
The way The Hut (owners of Zavvi) get around paying the fair amount of VAT is by shipping your goods some 7000 miles, via the USA, to arrive at your door. Clever huh?
Diaego PLC has transferred ownership of Johnnie Walker Whisky to a subsidiary in The Netherlands where it pays just 2% on tax.
Finally, our favourite, eBay has avoided a £50 million tax bill by channelling payments through Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Credit: Our thanks to 38 Degrees for information and picture.