The firm’s cafés are a familiar sight on streets across the country but Starbucks told MPs last year it had made a loss for 14 of the 15 years it has operated in the UK, achieving just a small profit in 2006. But under pressure from politicians and the public the firm committed to pay £20m in corporation tax over two years and the Exchequer has now received the first £5m.
A Starbucks spokeswoman said: “We listened to our customers in December and so decided to forgo certain deductions which would make us liable to pay £10m in corporation tax this year and a further £10m in 2014. We have now paid £5m and will pay the remaining £5m later this year.
“We are also undertaking measures to make Starbucks profitable in the UK, such as relocating unprofitable stores to more cost effective locations.”
In a showdown with the Commons Public Accounts Committee last year Starbucks insisted it was “an extremely high taxpayer” globally and acted “to an ethical” as well as a legal standard, despite declaring losses on its UK operation.
Its global chief financial officer Troy Alstead blamed an over-aggressive entry to the UK market which had left it with expensive properties that did not make money.