Writing for the Web | Task 1

bit.ly/djwebwriting

(Karl Hodge)

  • Starbucks Tax Break

Starbucks pours away accusations of EU Tax Avoidance

Worldwide coffee company Starbucks are being put under scrutiny after reports stemming from Reuters. They claim Starbucks hadn’t paid UK tax for 3 years, Despite making a £25 million profit in 2011. Their response? Attempting to justify this by reporting consistent losses.

Close investigations into Starbucks’ financing have been called by European politicians. UK, Germany and France are looking into accusations of the firm’s tax arrangements.

In 2011, The coffee queen made a profit of $40 (£25 million) yet filed accounts that showed a $60 million loss.

“We have never avoided paying taxes,” said Michelle Gass, Starbucks European president, as the company announced its latest earnings. She said the company had an “openness and willingness” to discuss its taxes, adding: “We look forward to clarifying our position in the days and weeks to come.”

The Seattle born company reported a net profit of $359m for the quarter ended 30 September, compared with a year-earlier profit of $358.5m. The company had revenues of $283.7 in Europe and the middle east, slightly less than last year, and reported a loss in the region of $6.5m.

Politicians and Activists are continuing and consistently highlighting tax avoidance. Other highstreet chains are targetted by protests groups, banks and firms including Topshop retailer Arcadia and Vodafone for their tax avoidance tactics.

Prime minister David Cameron responded to the claim with: “I’m not happy with the current situation. I think [HM Revenue & Customs] needs to look at it very carefully. We do need to make sure we are encouraging these businesses to invest in our country as they are but they should be paying fair taxes as well.”

Reflection:

As I haven’t been writing articles for long, I’m still struggling to write in the style of a journalist, using short hand. I need to try and break out of this ‘essay style’ technique of writing that I have been formerly used to. This particular article I found good to write as I had an endless amount of sources to be used at my disposal- this made me sift and sort through parts I felt were most relevant to be used in an article, rather like that of a journalist in the business.

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