The Multinationals Avoiding Corporation Tax Will Face The Public Accounts Committee Today

12 November 2012 - Which Way to Pay


The Multinationals Avoiding Corporation Tax Will Face The Public Accounts Committee Today

It may not have gone unnoticed that each month you pay a considerable amount of your salary to the government in the form of income tax. If you are employed by a company such as Starbucks, Google or Amazon then your tax is likely to be deducted from your wage before it enters your bank account. In this way the whole process of how much you earn and how much tax you pay is remarkably simple. However, when companies such as Starbucks, Google or Amazon are called to pay their corporation tax there is no simple way of taking the percentage of their profits.

Today the chief executives of Google, Starbucks and Amazon will speak before the Public Accounts Committee on taxing multinationals. There have been repeated accusations made against these companies suggesting that they do not pay nearly enough corporation tax in the UK. A Reuters investigation has suggested that Starbucks paid as little as £8.6m in UK corporation tax over the last 14 years. Numerous multinationals in the UK pay very little corporation tax and this is becoming a gripe of both the government and many British tax payers.

However, most of the companies accused of avoiding corporation tax protest that they are doing nothing illegal and that their financial obligations are met. Today the Public Accounts Committee will discuss the amounts of corporation tax paid by Starbucks, Google and Amazon who are good examples of large profitable multinationals accused of tax ‘avoidance’. The PAC is unlikely to intimidate the company executives who know for the most part that they are doing nothing illegal. What really needs to be considered by the PAC is a new system in which it is not so easy for large multinationals to avoid taxation in the UK.


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