The MD of Starbucks posted a letter on the company’s website yesterday informing its customers that from now on it will pay more corporation tax in the UK - above what is currently required by tax law.
Kris Engskov said the company has learned it’s “vital to listen closely to our customers” – the news that it was avoiding paying some tax provoked outrage, with some groups boycotting the chain. And it certainly sounded like Starbucks felt it has some making up to do.
He added that “acting responsibly makes good business sense” and in a bid to rebuild the company’s ‘most important asset’ - trust with its customers - Starbucks will pay a ‘significant amount of tax’ during 2013/14 regardless of whether it is profitable during this time. But are they really sorry? There’s no getting away from the underlying tone as Engskov writes: “And while Starbucks has complied with all UK tax laws today we are announcing changes that will result in the company paying higher corporation tax in the UK.”
On top of this did you know that Starbucks “annually inject almost £300 million into the UK economy”? Beat that for corporate responsibility. I don’t know about you but I’m sticking with Costa – and if you pop in before Christmas you’ll get a Christmas tree sprinkled on your cappuccino.