Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The PAC - and Starbucks, Amazon & Google

Yesterday the Public Accounts Committee gave a grilling to executives from the three multinational companies listed above - who stand accused of paying less than their fair share of UK Corporation tax. The PAC is one of the oldest committees, pre-dating the departmental select committees by a century. Further information on its work can be found at

The Inland Revenue site explains Corporation Tax - "Corporation Tax is a tax on the taxable profits of limited companies and some organisations including clubs, societies, associations, co-operatives, charities and other unincorporated bodies.

Taxable profits for Corporation Tax include:

•profits from taxable income such as trading profits and investment profits (except dividend income which is taxed differently)
•capital gains - known as 'chargeable gains' for Corporation Tax purposes

If your company or organisation is based in the UK, you'll have to pay Corporation Tax on all your taxable profits - wherever in the world those profits come from.

If your company isn't based in the UK but operates in the UK - for example through an office or branch (known to HMRC as a 'permanent establishment') - you'll only have to pay Corporation Tax on any taxable profits arising from your UK activities."

The companies are accused of arranging their affairs purely for the purpose of transferring their tax liability to lower tax areas.

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