Immoral businesses?

Google, Amazon, Starbucks… Big names referring to big companies with big consumer bases and above all big profit margins. Thinking about profit margins one thing that pops right into your mind is usually big profit margins mean high taxes. This is true for most firms, but apparently not for Starbucks and other big US corporations.

Did you know that Starbucks pays only 13 % in taxes to Germany?

During the last two years Starbucks made a profit of about 10 million Euros in Germany and would have been supposed to pay 3.4 million in taxes. But instead they only accounted for 2 million Euros in revenues and thus had to pay only 870.000 Euros in taxes. Well done Starbucks, well done.

How can it be that a company with about 9 billion USD revenue per year and  1,527 coffee shops in Europe, does not pay taxes at all or just very little?

You have got to be very clever or you have got to have a lot of money on your hands to afford the best accountants in the world.

Starbucks is very clever as they invested the money they had into a group of accountants. A group of the best accountants of the world. Google and Amazon have also done the same thing.

Those accountants know the system like the back of their hands. Those accountants know every single loophole in all parts of the world and thus make it possible for big businesses to pay only little to none taxes. Small businesses unfortunately cannot afford the services of those accountants and therefore fall by the wayside. German readers can inform themselves here.

Should we boycott those companies now?

Well for me personally this would be impossible. I search the web with Google every single day. I place all my orders at Amazon and I cannot imagine a world without a good old Mocca Frappuccino. Other than that people who pay their taxes properly would be affected in a bad way.

If we boycott Starbucks we would automatically boycott small businesses that run their coffee shops as Franchises and pay their taxes properly, which would then destroy their businesses.

George Osborne , British Chancellor of the Exchequer, states that they want competitive taxes that say Britain is open for business and that attract global companies to invest in and bring jobs to our country, but that they also want global companies to pay those taxes.

The voices asking for a common European law on taxes are becoming louder and louder. Having a common tax law in the EU would make it almost impossible for big US corporations to find loopholes where they can avoid paying taxes.

There is nothing left for us to do but to wait and see how the situation develops and to see whether Europe can finally come up with a common tax law.

However, I’m pretty sure, once they come up with a tax law, the accountants for the big corporations will find other loopholes anyways. I mean, that’s what they’re paying them for, right?