Starbucks, the global coffee shop giant, has today pledged to take action to pay corporation tax in the UK – and admitted “we’re not perfect”.
The company has taken full-page adverts in national newspapers and gone on a PR offensive following the outcry that met revelations over how it paid tax in the UK.
However, the move to make the payment has allowed critics to slam UK tax laws – declaring that the payment by Starbucks amounts to a gift.
The advert states: “Today, we’re taking action to pay corporation tax in the United Kingdom – above what is currently required by tax laws. Since Starbucks was founded in 1971 we’ve learned it is vital to listen closely to our customers – and that acting responsibly makes good business sense.”
Starbucks has offered to “pay or pre-pay somewhere in the range of £10m in each of the next two years”. Starbucks has paid just £8.5m corporation tax in 14 years, despite UK sales of £3bn – a tax rate of less than 1%. However, the company argues it is not profitable in the UK.
And the advert ends: “We know we are not perfect. But we have listened over the past few months and are committed to the UK for the long term. We hope that over time, through our actions and our contribution, you will give us an opportunity to build on your trust and custom.”