A group of traders in Crickhowell, a small village in Wales, started an initiative aimed at optimizing their tax bills. Small family businesses, such as the local book shop, bakery, smoked salmon firm, and a local café, decided to use the same offshore tax strategies that are used by large multinationals. This initiative is a protest against big tax burden on small businesses in the UK. Moreover, the participants of this action requested the UK Treasury to adopt measures that would differentiate tax burden for small and large businesses.
In order to minimize their tax bills, the local Crickhowell traders copy accountancy practices of Google, Facebook, Starbucks, Amazon, and other brands, which pay low or no tax in the UK. For example, since Starbucks started operating in the UK in 1998, the company paid only €12.1 million of corporate tax because it channeled royalties out of the UK to lower tax jurisdictions, such as the Netherlands and Switzerland. Similarly, in 2014, Amazon paid as little as €16.8 million tax on €7.5 billion sales in the UK.
The protest organized by the group of small traders has led to the creationof a documentary called “The Town that Went Offshore”. The movie will be presented by the British BBC in 2016.
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