Sometimes it is nice to know that tax evasion isn't just something that rich people in America get accused of. It is also something that rich American companies get accused of internationally! Like Starbucks, which is under fire in the U.K. for paying just £8.6 million in taxes on a reported £3 billion in sales since it opened its first coffee shop there in 1998. In fact, it hasn't paid any taxes in England in the past three years.
It seems the coffee Goliath, which is profitable across the pond, simply has been loading its UK division with "debts from other parts of the business based in countries with lower tax thresholds." Sneaky! But the Seattle giant says it hasn't done anything wrong:
"We have paid and will continue to pay our fair share of taxes in full compliance with all UK tax laws, as we always have. There has been no suggestion by any authority that we are anything but compliant and good taxpayers.
"We do this in a way that is consistent with the values that have guided us since we were founded more than 40 years ago: balancing our need to operate a profitable business with a social conscience."
Still, the news that the company has paid about 0.3 percent in taxes has some in England quite unhappy and demanding change in that country's tax code: "The government must take action so that this country has a fair tax system ensuring that hugely profitable companies like Starbucks pay the right amount of tax," a spokesperson for a group fighting for fair taxes said.