Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil and Gas Correspondent
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Oct 31, 2012

UK lawmakers to grill Starbucks, Amazon and Google on tax

LONDON (Reuters) – A UK parliamentary committee has invited executives from Starbucks Corp, Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc to answer questions about their tax practices, which allow them to make significant sales in the UK, but pay little tax here.

The Public Accounts Committee asked senior officials from the companies to address a hearing on November 5, but a spokesman said scheduling problems could mean the hearing might be held later in November.

Oct 31, 2012

Google denies 1 billion euro French tax claim

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) – Google denied a newspaper report on Wednesday that it had received a 1 billion euro tax claim from the French authorities.

The weekly Canard Enchaine said in an unsourced report that the French Tax Administration was looking into whether Google’s practice of charging French advertisers via its European headquarters in Ireland led it to underpay taxes in France.

Oct 25, 2012

UK lawmakers slam Starbucks tax deal

LONDON (Reuters) – British lawmakers have criticized a deal the tax man made with Starbucks (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) that allowed the coffee chain to almost eliminate its UK tax bill by deducting royalties the group paid itself for the use of its own brand.

Starbucks Chief Financial Officer Troy Alstead told Reuters the UK tax authority had questioned its practice of paying 6 percent of turnover as royalties to a Dutch subsidiary and that the two parties had agreed to lower it to 4.7 percent.

Oct 25, 2012

UK parliamentarians slam Starbucks tax deal

LONDON (Reuters) – British parliamentarians have criticised a deal the tax man made with Starbucks (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research) that allowed the coffee chain to almost eliminate its UK tax bill by deducting royalties the group paid itself for the use of its own brand.

Starbucks Chief Financial Officer Troy Alstead told Reuters the UK tax authority had questioned its practice of paying 6 percent of turnover as royalties to a Dutch subsidiary and that the two parties had agreed to lower it to 4.7 percent.

Oct 20, 2012

Starbucks brand hit by UK tax criticism

LONDON, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Starbucks’s reputation among
consumers in Britain has been hit by wave of criticism of its
tax affairs from politicians and the media, pollster YouGov
said.

A Reuters report showed the coffee chain paid no tax on 1.2
billion pounds of sales in recent years by telling the taxman it
was making no profit, even as it told investors the unit was
“profitable”.

Oct 18, 2012

UK taxman says cost of evasion and avoidance hits 32 bln stg

LONDON, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Britain’s taxman said the cost of
non-compliance with tax rules cost the government 32 billion
pounds ($51.73 billion) in lost revenues in 2010-11, up from 31
billion a year earlier.

Tax avoidance has become a charged subject in Britain amid
austerity budget cuts and the government is under pressure to
show it is ensuring big business and the wealthy bear their
share of the economic burden.

Oct 17, 2012

UK committees to examine Starbucks tax strategies

LONDON (Reuters) – Two British parliamentary committees are due to quiz tax officials about how Starbucks was able to avoid paying tax on 1.2 billion pounds ($1.93 billion) of sales since 2009.

Lawmakers said a Reuters report that showed Starbucks had been telling investors its UK unit was highly profitable while telling British authorities the unit was lossmaking, and thereby not liable for tax, undermined public trust in the tax system.

Oct 17, 2012

UK record challenges link between corporate tax cuts and jobs

MARKET BOSWORTH (Reuters) – When precision engineer JJ Churchill bought costly new machinery and recruited workers to operate it, the firm was doing the bidding of successive British governments – investing in high value manufacturing and creating skilled jobs.

But its reason for spending 1 million pounds on two steel milling and grinding machines last year had little to do with the government’s policy of helping British industry by steadily cutting corporate tax rates.

Oct 17, 2012

Analysis: UK record challenges link between corporate tax cuts and jobs

MARKET BOSWORTH, England (Reuters) – When precision engineer JJ Churchill bought costly new machinery and recruited workers to operate it, the firm was doing the bidding of successive British governments – investing in high value manufacturing and creating skilled jobs.

But its reason for spending 1 million pounds ($1.6 million) on two steel milling and grinding machines last year had little to do with the government’s policy of helping British industry by steadily cutting corporate tax rates.

Oct 17, 2012

Starbucks may face UK tax probe after MP asks for inquiry

LONDON (Reuters) – Starbucks may face an inquiry into its British tax affairs after a senior MP called for an investigation into how the company could avoid paying tax on 1.2 billion pounds of sales since 2009.

A Reuters report that Starbucks had been telling investors its UK unit was highly profitable while telling the UK authorities that the unit was lossmaking, and thereby not liable for tax, undermined public trust in the tax system, MPs said.

    • 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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