Dixons and John Lewis make plea for firms to pay their share of tax

16 November 2012

There seems to be something of a chorus coming from a variety of companies, all asking big firms to pay their share of tax. The chief exec of Dixons has said that UK retailers could well vanish if the Government doesn't do something about foreign companies who are managing to dodge (legally) their taxes.

Sebastian James' is looking squarely at multinationals like Amazon, Google and Starbucks, who are all coming under heavy criticism about how much they're putting into the pot.

James said: "I agree with Andy Street - retailers making profits in the UK should pay tax in the UK." Andy Street, the boss of John Lewis had previously said that his company could be put out of business (no more awful, saccharine Christmas ads then?) if the government don't sort this out, saying that companies in tax havens will "out-invest and ultimately out-trade" businesses paying full tax in the UK.

He added: "Our customers expect around a fair and level playing field and I suspect our customers do think both companies should be treated in the same way."

Business Secretary Vince Cable chipped in, saying that there is "systematic abuse" of the tax system by some multinational corporations and that these companies were "playing governments off against each other." Of course, the UK heads of Amazon, Google and Starbucks have had to appear before MPs in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) earlier this week, but as they're not doing anything illegal, surely they can shrug their way out of this and the MPs should in fact, be looking at their own abilities to patch this up.

TOPICS:   Technology   Tax


  • klingelton
    I won't stop shopping at the shops i like to shop in because some jobsworth at HMRC has made such a complicated tax system that not even they can keep track of what the hell is going on. if paying a little less in tax means i pay a little less at checkout, then that's savings in my pocket. Why are we all whining because we pay a little less tax!?! what do you think will happen when they are forced to pay corporation tax? profits drop so they put their prices up.
  • foxes
    This is so easy to resolve I can't believe they haven't thought of it yet. Set up a new Dixons HQ in Zurich and charge all UK stores a royalty. Simples.
  • Terry J.
    @ klingelton Really? The local coffee shops near me pay more corporation tax than Starbucks but their coffee is the same price. Same can be said about a range of products I didn't purchase from Amazon because I could purchase them for less elsewhere (and I've since discovered these are non-tax avoiding businesses).
  • Borat
    @foxes indeed, if you can't beat them....
  • tcs
    If the government is getting less tax through retail, they have to look into getting it via some other avenue. You will pay that tax, one way or another.
  • Taxwhippingboy
    Another one bites the dust! Simon Nixon, founder of price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com, is moving to Jersey to save millions of pounds in tax. How will Martin Lewis respond to that? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/tax/9682070/Moneysupermarket-founder-Simon-Nixon-moves-to-Jersey-over-tax.html
  • foxes
    The government will tax as much as they can and then borrow more and then squander it. Private businesses will charge consumers as much as they can and, all other things being equal, will pay as little for raw materials, costs, wages and tax as they can. There is no link between cost and price, and no link between tax collected and government spending. These are all myths.
  • Boring B.
    Tax money is used to send 'the armed forces' out to Afghanistan to rape people.
  • Sicknote
    My company generates income in the UK and I pay just over 4% TAX in Malta where my company is registered; I've just used some of that cash I save to buy my wife a new diamond Rolex for her 42nd birthday. Happy days are here again if you ask me.
  • dvdj10
    Amazon won't suddlenly put their prices up when / if they start paying tax they just won't make as much profit. Currently Dixons match Amazon prices for most things so Amazon can't afford to raise their prices. Same with Starfucks etc.
  • Dacouch
    erm Dixons use a complicated system to avoid paying Insurance Premium Tax on their warranties. Glass House & Stones
  • Wongaporkpies
    Dixons/Currys/PC World know how to avoid tax themselves by allowing people on benefits to work for them for nothing on work placements !
  • Phil
    @ Boring Boy; That is absolutely shocking, the government are wasting tax money sending the armed forces abroad where they rape people. There are loads of people in this country who still haven't been raped, not even by a radio DJ. Stop all this foreign AIDs and concentrate on this country.

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