Skip to comments.Self-Righteous Starbucks Forced To Chug A Venti Of Greedy British Government
Posted on 12/20/2012 6:48:07 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Its easy to chuckle at Starbucks tax troubles. The java merchant that has successfully enticed millions to pay for the privilege of hearing words like barista and doppio sprinkled over their morning jolt has made a specialty of offering a little dollop of sanctimony in every cup, promising to calm the conscience even as it raises the heartbeat. Shibboleths like sustainable, fair trade and responsibly grown seem to add value to its self-regarding clientele.
Alas, Starbucks now-notorious tax avoidance policy in the United Kingdom proves that once you start chugging a Venti of self-righteousness, you may find yourself getting force-fed it. Having done nothing illegal or wrong but simply by optimizing its tax structure in Britain so that its corporate tax payments to Her Majestys revenue service amounted to less than one percent of sales, Starbucks fell afoul of activist groups, the media (see this rabble-rousing piece by Reuters) and finally Members of Parliament who openly chastised the company. Labour Member of Parliament Michael Meacher, who is making his name on attacking corporate tax avoidance, said the countrys actions were extremely unfair. Chastened, the company began negotiations with HM Revenue & Customs to discuss a more suitable payment.
Starbucks is right to be ashamed.
It ought to be ashamed of how it is letting mob tactics and blowhard politicians seeking the spotlight come before the interests of its shareholders and customers.
Last year, on 398 million pounds in sales, the company paid exactly zero in corporate income tax. A rival coffee chain, Costa, paid 15 million pounds in tax, or 31 percent of profits on sales of 377 million pounds.
Starbucks should chug a double espresso and steel itself for a more vigorous defense. It should spend more energy pointing out to British and European lawmakers who are harassing it
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
:-) I love “Pot meets kettle” stories. Pass the popcorn.
Coming here soon.
There is an OWS-style organization over there called Uncut UK. Basically they react to cuts in welfare spending by blaming them on businesses who are not paying their “fair share” of taxes and then shutting down their locations with noisy sit-in protests.
If a fiscal cliff deal involves any serious budget cutting look for it to happen here too. I look for the phrase “Unpatriotic Parasite Employer” to be thrown around liberally by the Left as well.
What the reality is here is if you put in place tax policies that do not strangle business, they will pay their fair share. Starbucks played by the rules and now the Brits have their panties all bunched up.
My wife, bless her heart, loves paying high prices for coffee (I don’t drink it) and it amused her that when we go through a SB drive thru I refuse to order for her using their lingo.
She tells me, “I want a venti meso with soy” and I say things like, “yeah I need a large one of those expensive, regular coffees with fake milk”.
Or she says “a pumpkin soy latte with two sugars” and I say “a really big steamed coffee with fake milk and pumpkin flavor and 2 lumps”.
She always chuckles.
lol. I love that. God Bless both of you. I can see why she loves you. Smart ass and all.
I get a couple of small Coffees Of The Day just to go in and oggle the beautiful black barrista behind the counter.
Starts the day off right.
Tired of expensive coffee? I make my wife espresso every morning. I even use fancy coffee. Its cheap if you have an espresso maker or even just a little Bialetti espresso pot!
“Last year, on 398 million pounds in sales, the company paid exactly zero in corporate income tax.”
That’s a nonsense statement. Income taxes aren’t assessed on sales receipts or gross income for corporations.
I told her to drink water and her breath won’t be offensive. I got the look.
Worth pointng out that Corporation Tax in Britain is already the lowest in Europe, lower than the US for higher turnovers, and has just been reduced even further (it’s now 20-23%).