HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Starbucks Wars - Tax Is Voluntary

In an "interesting" move, designed to assuage its customers and mollify its critics, Starbucks has decreed that tax is in fact voluntary and has decided to pay some (£5M now and £5M later this year).

As per the BBC, a Starbucks spokesman said:
"We listened to our customers in December and so decided to forgo certain deductions which would make us liable to pay £10m in corporation tax this year and a further £10m in 2014."
Margaret Hodge has reportedly welcomed the initial payment.

Meanwhile, in other news, Starbucks will be closing unprofitable stores.

Presumably the increased tax revenue received by the Treasury from Starbucks will be used to pay for the job seekers' allowances of those made redundant by Starbucks?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. No-one has yet explained the basis on which the tax is being paid. Is it calculated, due and payable under enacted legislation? If it is voluntary payment, is there a box on the form to accommodate this?

  2. I must admit, I was not aware that payment of tax was voluntary.
    If this is the case, can I now opt not to pay my tax until next year and then maybe pay a figure I decide is reasonable in 2 instalments?
    Is this RTI for the Big Boys?
    What a complete mockery for the majority of hard working honest but oppressed taxpayers (not fecking customers!) of the UK!
    Boycott the beggars, wern't they criticised over the corporate profits they made out of their Afghan and other occupied country retail shops for the troops (U.S. not U.K.)?
    Hypocrisy, greed and arrogance = profit motive.
    Will HMRC consider the meagre tax paid as a success?
    Answers on the back of a postage stamp please, to:-
    Tax Havens 'R' Us, c/o Any UK/Crown Protectorate or Foreign Brass Plate Co/LLP of your choosing. VAT number and repayments courtesy of HMRC (PLC).

  3. It is possible to make voluntary additional payments of income tax (sorry to disappoint the previous poster, but "additional" is the operative word!).

    However, as far as I'm aware, there's noequivalent provision in Corporation Tax, which is what Starbucks pays on its profits (or not!).

    My assumption about this, which appears to be confirmed by the quote above, has always been that Starbucks will self-assess more profits than it has to. For example, they can, perfectly legally*, choose not to claim deductions to which they are entitled. They might not claim capital allowances on their coffee machines, for instance (though in that case they'd be able to claim them at a later date...).

    Stew G

    (* - and by perfectly legally, I really mean that they are straightforwardly, intentionally allowed to do it. I'm not using the phrase in the weasel-wordy way that Ken and others use it to try to legitimise contrived avoidance schemes that are actually in a very grey area of legality.)