I have been monitoring the recent reports on the high street coffee chain Starbucks, among others, and the concerns over their non-payment of Corporation Tax. Now obviously, they are not doing anything illegal and there is an argument for saying that those who collect the taxes should be concentrating on ensuring that it is not possible to shift profits out of the UK rather than using the media to try and shame them into paying something.
However, I was reading a blog from another business owner who was congratulating their competitors, Costa Coffee, on its increase in sales. He was saying that he thinks we should all drink our coffee from Costa and let Starbucks eventually disappear as this would increase the Corporation Tax that Costa pay into the Treasury, which is probably correct.
Trouble is, it is important to remember that Corporation Tax is a small part of any company's payments to the Treasury. Think about all the VAT, PAYE and N.I. contributions these companies make for their employees along with all the business rates and all the businesses that feed off of them from the coffee cup suppliers to the business insurance, a portion of which all ends up at the Treasury.
I'm not saying what those companies do is right, far from it, but let's not lose sight of the bigger picture here.
At the end of the day, the customers will decide who they prefer. For what it's worth I prefer the taste of Costa's brew.....a small cappuccino for me please if you are buying....