Frank Field urges tax crackdown on US giants Starbucks, Amazon and Google

Frank Field urges tax crackdown on US giants Starbucks, Amazon and Google

Frank Field urges tax crackdown on US giants Starbucks, Amazon and Google

First published in News Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Editor

Birkenhead MP Frank Field is calling on the Government to take firm action to tackle tax avoidance by US multinationals

Last week senior executives from Starbucks, Amazon and Google endured a torrid time being grilled by Parliament’s public accounts committee.

The committee's Labour chairman, Margaret Hodge, told the executives before her: "We're not accusing you of being illegal, we're accusing you of being immoral" when it became apparent legal tax avoidance techniques are a component of their business models.

Like many other large multinationals, all three avoided paying corporation tax in the UK. Starbucks alone has paid just £8.6m on a reported £3bn in sales since 1998.

That equates to a tax rate of less than 0.3%.

Mr Field has today put down an Early Day Motion in Parliament - signed by Mrs Hodge - calling on the Government to announce plans in the Autumn Statement to levy a form of turnover tax on the multinationals'  economic activity in the UK.

He said this would be equivalent to the revenue which would normally have been raised through corporation tax on would apply to any multinational found not to be paying an appropriate level of tax on their UK sales.

He said: “While not illegal, the manipulation by these multinationals of their accounts to minimise the payment of corporation tax is immoral.

"With the collapse of Government revenue from 2008, corporation tax is vital in helping to balance the Government’s books in a fair manner.

"The more tax that these companies avoid paying, the greater the tax burden will be on the rest of us, and cuts in public services will get even worse. Their actions also damage British businesses that pay full taxes.”

Mr Field’s paper has been signed by MP’s from all three main political parties.

The Autumn Statement will be made by Chancellor George Osborne on Wednesday, December 5. It  provides an update on the Government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. 

Comments (4)

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2:40pm Wed 21 Nov 12

David Scott says...

It's not just American companies and it's not just multinationals. HMRC has tried to stop this sort of tax avoidance by big companies through legal action, but they have lost when cases were taken to the European Court of Justice. It's the wonderful EU and its 'single market' that allows companies to base their nominal 'head office' in the most tax efficient location (e.g. Luxembourg), and prevents UK law from doing anything about it.

I hope Frank mentions this, rather than producing hot air about the 'immorality' of companies.
It's not just American companies and it's not just multinationals. HMRC has tried to stop this sort of tax avoidance by big companies through legal action, but they have lost when cases were taken to the European Court of Justice. It's the wonderful EU and its 'single market' that allows companies to base their nominal 'head office' in the most tax efficient location (e.g. Luxembourg), and prevents UK law from doing anything about it. I hope Frank mentions this, rather than producing hot air about the 'immorality' of companies. David Scott
  • Score: 0

4:28pm Wed 21 Nov 12

ArdalMcFardle says...

In a bizarre twist Starbucks, Amazon and Google have called for a crackdown on useless, pontificating, moralising and ineffective local MP's
In a bizarre twist Starbucks, Amazon and Google have called for a crackdown on useless, pontificating, moralising and ineffective local MP's ArdalMcFardle
  • Score: 0

11:06am Thu 22 Nov 12

Spiffy says...

No point calling this "tax avoidance" when they've paid the tax they were supposed to and are well within the law.
..
It's the equivalent of any one of us being chased down the street and harrassed by a shop manager after buying something for no other reason than they thought you should pay more according to their own morals. Many of us would tell this manager...quite rightly....to f*** off.
...
If this government wants people to pay more tax then they need to change the laws. Emotional blackmail and language that borders on slander and libel isn't going to cut it. Nor should it.
No point calling this "tax avoidance" when they've paid the tax they were supposed to and are well within the law. .. It's the equivalent of any one of us being chased down the street and harrassed by a shop manager after buying something for no other reason than they thought you should pay more according to their own morals. Many of us would tell this manager...quite rightly....to f*** off. ... If this government wants people to pay more tax then they need to change the laws. Emotional blackmail and language that borders on slander and libel isn't going to cut it. Nor should it. Spiffy
  • Score: 0

12:15pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Positive thinker says...

Frank your talking out of your
rear end again,does anyone ever take
any notice of you
Frank your talking out of your rear end again,does anyone ever take any notice of you Positive thinker
  • Score: 0

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