Starbucks, Amazon and Google's Tax-Dodging "An Insult" to the UK

By Gary Cutlack on at

The government is set to announce a renewed crackdown on large international tax avoiders, after evidence the big firms gave to the recent Public Accounts Committee hearing was described as "evasive" and "difficult to believe."

MPs on the Public Accounts Committee were particularly scathing of the evidence given to the committee by Starbucks, which claims to have made a loss in 14 of the 15 years it's been operating in the UK. Amazon was also criticised for being "evasive and unprepared to answer legitimate questions," while Google was said to be rather hypocritical about its demands to pay tax in the country it's earned, thanks to the way it shuffles money through Bermuda.

Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said: "Global companies with huge operations in the UK generating significant amounts of income are getting away with paying little or no corporation tax here. This is outrageous and an insult to British businesses and individuals who pay their fair share."

Chancellor George Osborne is said to be announcing some new tax-dodging, loophole-closing rules today, designed to claw back around £150m from the more obvious tax dodges.

Starbucks, meanwhile, announced plans to start reviewing its tax affairs and potentially start paying more UK corporation tax over the weekend, which is surely an admission that it's been bending the rules to breaking point all along. [Metro]

Image credit: Hiding money from Shutterstock