Big profits, small bills: How multinationals avoid tax

 

 

Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg’s social network paid only £238,000 in corporation tax on UK earnings of up to £175m last year. It deployed a common scheme which saw most of its UK earnings diverted to Ireland, where its European base is located. A spokesman said: “We regularly file reports about local operations. It would be a mistake to draw conclusions from these filings.”

Google

Google’s motto is “don’t be evil”, but the company’s friendly image was tarnished when it was revealed that it paid HMRC only £6m on a turnover of £395m last year. The company’s UK operation acts as an agent for its Irish counterpart and sees only a small percentage of the value of its own sales as a fee. The company said: “We make a substantial contribution to the UK through taxes. We comply with all the tax rules in the UK.”

Apple

This weekend accounts showed the tech giant paid less than 2 per cent tax on overseas profits. Despite foreign pre-tax earnings rising 50 per cent to $36.8bn, the company paid only £445m in corporation tax outside the US. Apple, whose CEO is Tim Cook, channels business through Ireland, which has a low rate of corporation tax. It has not commented.

Vodafone

Protesters targeted the telecoms firm after a dispute with HMRC. Following talks, the company agreed it would pay £1.25bn but MPs later heard that the full bill could have exceeded £6bn. MPs branded the settlement “absurd” and criticised HMRC for “letting off” Vodafone. Demonstrators shut down Vodafone stores and interrupted a black-tie City dinner attended by former permanent secretary of HMRC Dave Hartnett.

Starbucks

The coffee chain was the subject of protests after it was reported that it has paid almost no tax in the UK since 2009. Figures showed that HMRC has only collected £8m in corporation tax from the chain in 14 years. Despite making £3bn in sales, it has posted losses year after year. But the company still continued to boast to investors of strong performances in the UK market. Starbucks has made clear that it is not breaking any rules.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Adviser - OTE £24,500

£22500 - £24500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Inbound and outbound calls with...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £40,000

£18000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Insurance Bro...

Guru Careers: Research Associate / Asset Management Research Analyst

£40 - 45k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Research Associate / Research Anal...

The Green Recruitment Company: Graduate Energy Analyst

£20000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Summary: The Green Recruitm...

Day In a Page

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash