Starbucks Protesters Take Over London Demanding Tax 'Loopholes' Be Closed

Category: Society / Dec 08, 2012 5:22PM EDT
Protesters gathered outside a Starbucks in London on Saturday (December 8) to protest against the company's tax arrangements in the UK. The protest was one of more than 40 demonstrations against Starbucks across the country. It followed weeks of public attacks in the media and parliament after a Reuters report in October which said that over the past three years Starbucks has paid no corporation tax in Britain despite telling investors that the local business was highly profitable, while reporting an actual loss. Starbucks announced earlier in the week that it will not claim tax deductions for royalties or payments related to inter-company charges in 2013 and 2014. But protesters said tax "loopholes" should be closed. "We're here today to protest against the appalling levels of tax avoidance, aggressive tax avoidance, that companies like Starbucks have been engaging in. But it's not just Starbucks, but the likes of Boots, Amazon, Google are taking British tax payers for a ride. We pay our taxes and what we're saying is that Starbucks should pay theirs," said one man. "The biggest problems are caused by the government and their inability or their lack of will to actually close loopholes. So I think we have to not only tell our government what we think, but we do need to tell the brands as well. And I think Starbucks's offer of 20 million pounds is a bit of a joke really, to be honest. I think it's probably going to cause them more bad PR than good, to be honest," said another. Starbucks says the group has always acted according to the letter of the law and the company, which opened for business in Britain in 1998, was not hiding big profits from the tax authorities.