Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil and Gas Correspondent
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Dec 27, 2012

Exclusive: Profits up, but Britain gets less tax from big firms

LONDON (Reuters) – Big companies in Britain now pay less tax than they did 12 years ago despite a big jump in profitability, a Reuters analysis of official data shows. Tax campaigners say the trend is the clearest signal yet that tax avoidance has blossomed under a more business-friendly strategy at the UK tax authority Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Large companies’ payments of corporation tax – the UK equivalent of corporate income tax – totaled 21 billion pounds ($34 billion) in 2011/12, HMRC data shows. That was down five billion pounds or 21 percent since 2000/01 when the government, then controlled by the Labour Party, took the first steps towards a more collaborative approach to big business.

Dec 27, 2012

Profits up, but Britain gets less tax from big firms

LONDON, Dec 27 (Reuters) – Big companies in Britain now pay
less tax than they did 12 years ago despite a big jump in
profitability, a Reuters analysis of official data shows. Tax
campaigners say the trend is the clearest signal yet that tax
avoidance has blossomed under a more business-friendly strategy
at the UK tax authority Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
(HMRC).

Large companies’ payments of corporation tax – the UK
equivalent of corporate income tax – totaled 21 billion pounds
($34 billion) in 2011/12, HMRC data shows. That was down five
billion pounds or 21 percent since 2000/01 when the government,
then controlled by the Labour Party, took the first steps
towards a more collaborative approach to big business.

Dec 6, 2012

Amazon’s billion-dollar tax shield

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – In 2005, Amazon rented a historic five-storey building in Luxembourg’s Grund quarter, right at the bottom of a steep rock-walled valley below the old town.

By setting up in Luxembourg, and channelling sales through its units there, the world’s biggest online retailer could minimise corporate taxes.

Dec 6, 2012

Special Report: Amazon’s billion-dollar tax shield

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – In 2005, Amazon rented a historic five-storey building in Luxembourg’s Grund quarter, right at the bottom of a steep rock-walled valley below the old town.

By setting up in Luxembourg, and channelling sales through its units there, the world’s biggest online retailer could minimize corporate taxes.

Dec 3, 2012

Gabon seeks tougher terms from oil companies

LONDON, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Gabon is seeking to squeeze more
money out of foreign oil companies operating in the country,
executives say, potentially damping enthusiasm for a
long-awaited deepwater licensing round due next year.

The move mirrors similar steps by resource-rich nations
around the world over the past decade, when countries such as
Kazakhstan or Venezuela clawed back projects or tightened the
terms for international companies as energy prices soared.

Dec 3, 2012

MPs call for tax crackdown on multinationals

LONDON (Reuters) – A committee of MPs has called on government to crack down on multinational companies that make substantial sales in Britain but pay little tax here, echoing demands from leaders across Europe for measures to tackle corporate tax avoidance.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said on Monday the government should set down rules limiting inter-company transactions that reduce companies’ tax bills, push for more transparency in company reporting on tax and work with other countries to limit profit-shifting across borders.

Dec 3, 2012

UK lawmakers call for tax crackdown on multinationals

LONDON, Dec 3 (Reuters) – A committee of UK lawmakers has
called on government to crack down on multinational companies
that make substantial sales in Britain but pay little tax here,
echoing demands from leaders across Europe for measures to
tackle corporate tax avoidance.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said on Monday the
government should set down rules limiting inter-company
transactions that reduce companies’ tax bills, push for more
transparency in company reporting on tax and work with other
countries to limit profit-shifting across borders.

Dec 2, 2012

Starbucks says may pay more UK tax

LONDON (Reuters) – Coffee chain Starbucks (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it was considering changes to its UK tax practices, which allowed it to make billions in revenue while paying little in income taxes, following criticism from lawmakers, tax campaigners and the media.

A Reuters examination of Starbucks accounts published in October showed the company had reported 13 years of losses at its UK unit, even as it told investors the operation was profitable and among the best performing of its overseas markets.

Nov 30, 2012

Insight: EBay’s double tax base prompts calls for investigation

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain and Germany may have missed out on a combined $1 billion in sales tax since online marketplace eBay picked a tiny Luxembourg office as its base for EU sales, a shift that lawmakers say should now be investigated.

EBay’s nomination of Luxembourg unit eBay Europe Sarl – with a staff of nine – as its provider of services to EU clients allows it to charge customers in Europe a low rate of sales tax, often known as Value Added Tax, helping it to compete against rivals.

Nov 30, 2012

EBay’s double tax base prompts calls for investigation

LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Britain and Germany may have
missed out on a combined $1 billion in sales tax since online
marketplace eBay picked a tiny Luxembourg office as its
base for EU sales, a shift that lawmakers say should now be
investigated.

EBay’s nomination of Luxembourg unit eBay Europe Sarl – with
a staff of nine – as its provider of services to EU clients
allows it to charge customers in Europe a low rate of sales tax,
often known as Value Added Tax, helping it to compete against
rivals.

    • About Tom

      "Tom leads our coverage of the oil and gas industry in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and is also author of 'Spills & Spin: The Inside Story of BP'. A former oil broker who turned to journalism 12 years ago, he is regularly interviewed on CNBC and other TV and radio stations on energy matters. Tom has reported from over twenty countries including Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Tanzania, the U.S. and Russia. As Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil & Gas Correspondent, he has chartered the rise in oil prices to record levels, interviewed oil ministers and the CEOs of ..."
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