The budget supermarket Lidl has hit back at claims that its structure is opaque by revealing it paid more than £25m to the UK taxman last year.
Lidl, together with its low-cost rival Aldi, has enjoyed a rapid expansion in Britain at the expense of the “Big Four” supermarkets.
Morrisons’ chief executive Dalton Philips is among those who have called for foreign-owned retailers to declare their tax bills amid fears they have an unfair advantage over their UK rivals. However, Germany’s Lidl said yesterday: “At Lidl we believe that every company has a social and economic responsibility to pay tax in correspondence with its earnings.”
Lidl added that it was “worth noting that the corporation tax rate in Britain, currently 21 per cent, is more attractive from a business investment perspective than the German tax rate… furthermore we do not engage in any tax-avoidance schemes, nor do we have any subsidiaries in low-tax countries.”
The company said it had not filed accounts with Companies House because it met UK filing obligations through its German parent group.