Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Starbucks (and Other Companies) Not Paying Taxes in UK

There is a furor in the UK over the realization that Starbucks has not paid any taxes in the country despite profits of coffee sales in the UK of over 1 billion pound sterling since 2009.  In addition, the company has only paid 8 million pound sterling in UK tax since starting up in the country in 1998, in the process racking up 3 billion pound sterling in sales. 

Amazon and Facebook are using some of the same kinds of accounting tricks in order to avoid paying UK taxes, routing their incomes in European tax havens such as Ireland and Luxembourg.  As a result, they are also paying little or nothing in taxes to the UK, and yet generating vast sales numbers. 

I know that I'm not in the UK, but if you think that corporations aren't doing the same things here and around the world, you are sorely mistaken.  We have to stop thinking of corporations as "citizens" and "people" and begin to look at them for what they are: psychopathic entities with zero interest in the common good or for serving anyone other than themselves. 

This also puts a huge dent in the argument from some on the conservative side of the fence that bringing jobs back to this country is dependent on cutting taxes even further on these corporations, or as many politicians are calling them, the "job creators".  Corporations are already paying very low taxes around the world, both via the whim of our elected officials and by shady accounting magical tricks, and there is no huge influx of job creation pending.  It is all mere bullshit.

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