How Boots' Swiss move cost UK £100m a year - do you really want to buy from Boots? - HotUKDeals
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How Boots' Swiss move cost UK £100m a year - do you really want to buy from Boots?

Newbold Avatar
5y, 11m agoPosted 5 years, 11 months ago
Then came the move to the low-tax Swiss canton of Zug. Alliance Boots GmbH is now registered at Zug's 94 Baarerstrasse, an address that is home to a post office. After huge interest payments, its worldwide profits last year were £475m. It is hard to see which parts of the company are now making what, but the cashflow statement for the year to March 2010 shows that just £14m was recorded as the tax charge on those profits – that is, just 3% of profits. John Ralfe, the former head of corporate finance at Boots, told us he calculated that, "the UK has lost about £100m a year in tax as a result".



http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/11/boots-switzerland-uk
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Newbold Avatar
5y, 11m agoPosted 5 years, 11 months ago
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#1
Just as an aside to the above, that £100m a year not going to the UK is schools, hospitals, universities etc etc etc

And it's additional tax that you and I have to pay - because Boots prefer not to!

Thanks Boots - I won't be using you again.:(
1 Like #2
All because we tax too highly in this country, to pay for the scroungers...

If I had a successful company, I would also move its base to another country.

Bit like Lewis Hamilton who now lives away from the UK to avoid this country's 50% tax on his wages, not then including another 11% NI. Another 5Million lose for the UK in tax....

They should reduce the tax for these higher rate tax payers, and move would move back, that will in turn increase revenue...
[helper] 4 Likes #3
Isn't it funny how all the papers love to attack benefit cheats but give very little exposure to tax cheats.......which costs the UK 15 times more....

At £30 billion per year, fraud in the UK is more than twice as high as thought, with tax evasion costing the public purse over £15 billion per year and benefit fraud just over £1 billion.
#4
I am not talking Benefit fraud, I am taking the benefit system in general. The system that gives people a helping hand... Sadly it is now a system for people to it back and make nothing from their lives...
#5
Good for Boots I don't blame them one bit. It is time that the government stopped treating the rich as soft touches. Why should someone who has lots of money have to pay for all the scroungers in the UK. Everyone should pay the same rate of tax. 20% of 100,000 pounds is still a lot more than 20% of 20,000.
[helper]#6
Chiptivo
I am not talking Benefit fraud, I am taking the benefit system in general. The system that gives people a helping hand... Sadly it is now a system for people to it back and make nothing from their lives...
I wasn't referring to your post - its more of a comment on the politicians, newspapers and ultimately the general public who see benefit fraud as a crime and tax evasion as a jolly good way to play the system......

If the gov was serious about fraud they would invest more time and effort in closing tax loopholes.

Edited By: gari189 on Dec 11, 2010 12:54
#7
Not excusing what they have done,altho its the fact that this is legally possible that is wrong-not boots or any other company trying to maximise their profit-surely thats the JOB of any company?

If I refused to shop anywhere that had questionable business practices,either by tax evading or treating staff shabbily,or using cheap labour to produce their products,I would be left with hardly anywhere to buy anything methinks. I wouldnt use ANY bank,ANY supermarket or virtually ANY clothes retailer.

Its a legal loophole that should be closed certainly,but surely boots are only maximising their profit because of it? wouldnt make me boycott them.
#8
Chiptivo
All because we tax too highly in this country, to pay for the scroungers...

If I had a successful company, I would also move its base to another country.

Bit like Lewis Hamilton who now lives away from the UK to avoid this country's 50% tax on his wages, not then including another 11% NI. Another 5Million lose for the UK in tax....

They should reduce the tax for these higher rate tax payers, and move would move back, that will in turn increase revenue...


keithush
Good for Boots I don't blame them one bit. It is time that the government stopped treating the rich as soft touches. Why should someone who has lots of money have to pay for all the scroungers in the UK. Everyone should pay the same rate of tax. 20% of 100,000 pounds is still a lot more than 20% of 20,000.


Rubbish, I'm afraid, guys. UK corporate taxes are already amongst the lowest in Europe. Boots are just being astoundingly greedy in trying to avoid them.
#9
ok with every negative there must be a positive and Boots is a very good company to work for. They pay their Saturday staff better than most other stores and treat them with respect. Several of my dance group work there at weekends and they often do their best for them when they go to university they transfer jobs if there are vacancies or keep them on contract at home for when they return in the Summer and overall everyone i know that has worked there seems happy with their treatment. Think twice before you blacklist shops and remember to consider all the aspects of the debate!!!
banned#10
gari189

I wasn't referring to your post - its more of a comment on the politicians, newspapers and ultimately the general public who see benefit fraud as a crime and tax evasion as a jolly good way to play the system......


Its a Jolly, because most of these companies have MPs as non executive directors, doing nothing but getting a pay check and of course ensuring the government does nothing to target them.

I'd prefer all cheats get done.
banned#11
michala100
everyone i know that has worked there seems happy with their treatment. Think twice before you blacklist shops and remember to consider all the aspects of the debate!!!


Irony!
#12
barky
Not excusing what they have done,altho its the fact that this is legally possible that is wrong-not boots or any other company trying to maximise their profit-surely thats the JOB of any company?

If I refused to shop anywhere that had questionable business practices,either by tax evading or treating staff shabbily,or using cheap labour to produce their products,I would be left with hardly anywhere to buy anything methinks. I wouldnt use ANY bank,ANY supermarket or virtually ANY clothes retailer.

Its a legal loophole that should be closed certainly,but surely boots are only maximising their profit because of it? wouldnt make me boycott them.


That's fine - but you have to accept that tax avoiders mean you pay more to cover their gains.
1 Like #13
Whats the big deal it would just be another 100M for the government to waste on administration. This country brings in more than enough to support itself it just needs to get rid of the freeloaders and fraudsters then there will be plenty to go round. By the way then which companies do you shop with i am sure they have a lot more skeletons in their cupboards.
[helper]#14
guv
Its a Jolly, because most of these companies have MPs as non executive directors, doing nothing but getting a pay check and of course ensuring the government does nothing to target them. I'd prefer all cheats get done.
Completely agree......

Edited By: gari189 on Dec 11, 2010 13:01
#15
There is seem to be a misunderstanding in terms on the justification on each case. Let's not forget those ordinary people who work hard and contribute massivley to the system. Fair or unfair??? I think its time to realise and penalise before its to late.
#16
michala100
ok with every negative there must be a positive and Boots is a very good company to work for. They pay their Saturday staff better than most other stores and treat them with respect. Several of my dance group work there at weekends and they often do their best for them when they go to university they transfer jobs if there are vacancies or keep them on contract at home for when they return in the Summer and overall everyone i know that has worked there seems happy with their treatment. Think twice before you blacklist shops and remember to consider all the aspects of the debate!!!


It may (for now) be a good company to work for, but is it right that a company heavily involved in selling healthcare products should be setting out to aggressively avoid paying the very taxes that fund the Health Service?

The sooner a positive boycott campaign like the one aimed at Topshop, bhs and Vodafone is aimed fairly and squarely at Boots the better it will be.

Only by exposing these companies and hurting them with lost sales will they change their dirty practices.
banned#17
gari189
Isn't it funny how all the papers love to attack benefit cheats but give very little exposure to tax cheats.......which costs the UK 15 times more....

At £30 billion per year, fraud in the UK is more than twice as high as thought, with tax evasion costing the public purse over £15 billion per year and benefit fraud just over £1 billion.


I have no problem with companies or individuals avoiding paying tax - I do exactly the same.

Tax evasion should be prosecuted.

The reason benefits cheats get a raw deal is because of the perception that they don't contribute anything to society, except for a tiny amount of VAT and offspring who may well follow in their footsteps.

Boots on the other hand employs more than 100,000 people apparently.
#18
newbie1001
Whats the big deal it would just be another 100M for the government to waste on administration.


What utter nonsense. It's another £100 million ordinary taxpayers under PAYE have to pay.
banned#19
Newbold
michala100
ok with every negative there must be a positive and Boots is a very good company to work for. They pay their Saturday staff better than most other stores and treat them with respect. Several of my dance group work there at weekends and they often do their best for them when they go to university they transfer jobs if there are vacancies or keep them on contract at home for when they return in the Summer and overall everyone i know that has worked there seems happy with their treatment. Think twice before you blacklist shops and remember to consider all the aspects of the debate!!!


It may (for now) be a good company to work for, but is it right that a company heavily involved in selling healthcare products should be setting out to aggressively avoid paying the very taxes that fund the Health Service?

The sooner a positive boycott campaign like the one aimed at Topshop, bhs and Vodafone is aimed fairly and squarely at Boots the better it will be.

Only by exposing these companies and hurting them with lost sales will they change their dirty practices.


Boots sole responsibilities are to it's employees and it's shareholders. If they can legally avoid paying tax then good for them.

I employ accountants to do exactly the same and anyone who doesn't (assuming they earn enough to make it worthwhile) is a mug.
#20
Newbold
newbie1001
Whats the big deal it would just be another 100M for the government to waste on administration.


What utter nonsense. It's another £100 million ordinary taxpayers under PAYE have to pay.


And if Boots paid this 100M would we see a drop drop in Tax's i don't think so
#21
Thinking about this, what boots has done is great. This will give them greater profits, which will allow them to reinvest in the UK for newer branches, shop refits (All the re fitter jobs), new staff (Again less people claiming benefits and contributing to the UK tax system), and cheaper products, which will allow more money in my pocket to spend at other places and again in turn pay other workers wages...

Fantastic.. Off to boots for some more bargains..
banned#22
Chiptivo
Thinking about this, what boots has done is great. This will give them greater profits, which will allow them to reinvest in the UK for newer branches, shop refits (All the re fitter jobs), new staff (Again less people claiming benefits and contributing to the UK tax system), and cheaper products, which will allow more money in my pocket to spend at other places and again in turn pay other workers wages...

Fantastic.. Off to boots for some more bargains..


LOL
#23
*cough* Google *cough*

2007/08 tax year, tax paid in UK £600,000 on a turnover of £1.25bn!

Boots, small fry. :)
#24
So you will be boycotting this site then after all how much money is the government loosing out in Tax's through misprices which many take up here, but i suppose been a good citizen you glady send the VAT direct which you would have had to pay.

Edited By: newbie1001 on Dec 11, 2010 13:23
#25
newbie1001
Newbold
newbie1001
Whats the big deal it would just be another 100M for the government to waste on administration.


What utter nonsense. It's another £100 million ordinary taxpayers under PAYE have to pay.


And if Boots paid this 100M would we see a drop drop in Tax's i don't think so


No - but because Boots aren't paying it, the UK government has to get it elsewhere. So they get it from us. So we subsidise the Boots shareholders. You think that's right?
#26
tinkerbell28
Yes I do as it's the only place I can get my fav eyelashes.

What they are doing is legal and good for the county as this place is so crippling for tax they wouldn't be able to reinvest over here, (jobs, new shops) half a much as they do. They are not a charity. Even if people are starting to think our country is a charity case.


Good for the country is it? To have its taxes diverted to Switzerland. Who do you think pays for the NHS - the Swiss?
banned#27
Newbold
tinkerbell28
Yes I do as it's the only place I can get my fav eyelashes.

What they are doing is legal and good for the county as this place is so crippling for tax they wouldn't be able to reinvest over here, (jobs, new shops) half a much as they do. They are not a charity. Even if people are starting to think our country is a charity case.


Good for the country is it? To have its taxes diverted to Switzerland. Who do you think pays for the NHS - the Swiss?


Nice logic there genius, completely ignoring the jobs created in this country.
#28
FilthAndFurry
Newbold
tinkerbell28
Yes I do as it's the only place I can get my fav eyelashes.

What they are doing is legal and good for the county as this place is so crippling for tax they wouldn't be able to reinvest over here, (jobs, new shops) half a much as they do. They are not a charity. Even if people are starting to think our country is a charity case.


Good for the country is it? To have its taxes diverted to Switzerland. Who do you think pays for the NHS - the Swiss?


Nice logic there genius, completely ignoring the jobs created in this country.

tinkerbell28
Newbold
tinkerbell28
Yes I do as it's the only place I can get my fav eyelashes.What they are doing is legal and good for the county as this place is so crippling for tax they wouldn't be able to reinvest over here, (jobs, new shops) half a much as they do. They are not a charity. Even if people are starting to think our country is a charity case.
Good for the country is it? To have its taxes diverted to Switzerland. Who do you think pays for the NHS - the Swiss?



Yes it is good, as the business shock horror, makes a profit and continues to employ and do business here. So more PAYE and NI contributions, VAT etc. Or they can pay tax here, be taxed to oblivion to the point it's not worth it or they can't generate anywhere near as many jobs.

Tax avoidance is clever business, tax evasion is criminal and is what is bad for this country.


Not very bright are you, you two? You haven't grasped the point that the missing £100m goes not towards 'creating jobs' but to the shareholders.

It's gullibility like that that enables companies like Boots to rip off UK taxpayers so that we all have to pay more to cover the deficit. They must love people like you.
banned 1 Like #29
Newbold

Not very bright are you, you two? You haven't grasped the point that the missing £100m goes not towards 'creating jobs' but to the shareholders.

It's gullibility like that that enables companies like Boots to rip off UK taxpayers so that we all have to pay more to cover the deficit. They must love people like you.


I get that point totally, but they aren't doing anything illegal. I'm sure you avoid paying tax that you don't have to, as do we all.

If you think they're breaking the law then maybe you've got a point. Otherwise it just sounds like whining.
#30
FilthAndFurry
Newbold

Not very bright are you, you two? You haven't grasped the point that the missing £100m goes not towards 'creating jobs' but to the shareholders.

It's gullibility like that that enables companies like Boots to rip off UK taxpayers so that we all have to pay more to cover the deficit. They must love people like you.


I get that point totally, but they aren't doing anything illegal. I'm sure you avoid paying tax that you don't have to, as do we all.

If you think they're breaking the law then maybe you've got a point. Otherwise it just sounds like whining.


No, they're not breaking the law, but the image they like to give off is that it's a solid, reliable, dependable UK company. Talk to any of the staff - they have no idea that they're Swiss-owned or that a tax avoidance scheme has been set up. One of our local managers actually told the staff (after someone raised the issue) that it was 'another Boots' that was involved, not this one!

Companies can arrange their tax affairs as they wish, but aggressive tax avoidance that costs all the rest of us additional taxes is bad news for the UK. Vodafone, Topshop and Boots have all been targeted by demonstrators recently, and Cadbury will no doubt follow. These companies do actually care about their image - they spend fortunes trying to keep it cuddly and cosy. The last thing they want to be seen as is a bunch of tax avoiders doing their level best to avoid their dues.

That's why it's important to publicise what's going on - so that eventually it hits them in the pocket enough to make tax avoidance on this scale counter-productive. As you say, nobody pays more tax than they have to, but there's a world of difference between keeping tax to a minimum and aggressive tax avoidance that costs UK taxpayers £100m pa.
#31
tinkerbell28
Newbold
tinkerbell28
Yes I do as it's the only place I can get my fav eyelashes.What they are doing is legal and good for the county as this place is so crippling for tax they wouldn't be able to reinvest over here, (jobs, new shops) half a much as they do. They are not a charity. Even if people are starting to think our country is a charity case.
Good for the country is it? To have its taxes diverted to Switzerland. Who do you think pays for the NHS - the Swiss?



Yes it is good, as the business shock horror, makes a profit and continues to employ and do business here. So more PAYE and NI contributions, VAT etc. Or they can pay tax here, be taxed to oblivion to the point it's not worth it or they can't generate anywhere near as many jobs.

Tax avoidance is clever business, tax evasion is criminal and is what is bad for this country.


You should look at how corporation tax is calculated, particularly the rules that exist for its constituent parts.
banned#32
Newbold

No, they're not breaking the law


Here's where I stopped.
[mod]#33
In answer to the thread question..............yes i'll still shop there.
#34
didnt vodaphone get out of £6 billion worth of tax. I dont think what boots has done is wrong, they're a good shop :) i'd still shop there too!
[mod]#35
Protesters have managed to force the closure of the Arndale Centre in Manchester after targeting Top Shop & Vodafone shops this afternoon with regards to this subject.
#36
To all those saying boots invest money here. They only do do to make money which they will now avoid paying tax on. If there was no money to make here they would clear off shortsighted profit grab that could come back to bite.
#37
Syzable
Protesters have managed to force the closure of the Arndale Centre in Manchester after targeting Top Shop & Vodafone shops this afternoon with regards to this subject.


Excellent! Boots is on the hit list too, I gather. The sooner these companies are hit where it hurts the sooner they'll stop their dodgy tax practices that are causing the rest of us to have to pay more. X)
#38
Newbold
Excellent! Boots is on the hit list too, I gather. The sooner these companies are hit where it hurts the sooner they'll stop their dodgy tax practices that are causing the rest of us to have to pay more. X)


You will still have to pay more. that £100m has got to come from somewhere, and it will come out the consumers pocket. The only way to do that is increasing prices and reducing jobs. It's a lose lose situation. Either the government take it off you direct, or Boots get more money off you to give to the government to make up the shortfall.
#39
Newbold


Excellent! Boots is on the hit list too, I gather. The sooner these companies are hit where it hurts the sooner they'll stop their dodgy tax practices that are causing the rest of us to have to pay more. X)


and all the more sooner until they up sticks and take their business elsewhere leaving that missing £100m looking like a drop in the ocean.
banned#40
With the government wanting to screw the common people out of every penny they can get from them, it does seam like a bloody cheek that big business are all moving off shore to avoid the tax that they earn from UK shoppers. If you trade here you should pay the tax that you earn from here.

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