Coffee giant agrees to sweeten deal on taxes

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THE Chancellor’s pledge to make global firms pay their “proper share of taxes” comes amid speculation that coffee giant Starbucks has agreed a deal to increase its UK tax bill.

Starbucks is understood to be in talks with HM Revenue & Customs over an agreement that could see it pay around £10m in corporation tax this financial year. The deal would ensure Starbucks paid a level comparable to British rival Costa Coffee, according to Sky News.

The move would help calm mounting public anger after it was disclosed that Starbucks and a number of big-name overseas firms pay little or no corporation tax in the UK, including Google and Amazon.

The US coffee firm – valued at £25bn – has generated more than £3bn of sales in the UK since 1998, but it emerged in October it has paid less than one per cent in corporation tax.

In yesterday’s Autumn Statement, George Osborne said: “The vast majority of people, rich or otherwise, pay their taxes and make their contribution.

“But there are still too many who illegally evade their taxes, or use aggressive tax avoidance in order not to pay their fair share.”

Costa Coffee paid around £15m in UK tax in the 2010-11 tax year and it is expected to have paid £18m in the following financial year.