Starbucks says to pay more UK tax

LONDON Thu Dec 6, 2012 8:10am EST

A sign is seen outside a Starbucks Coffee shop in central London December 3, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

A sign is seen outside a Starbucks Coffee shop in central London December 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

LONDON (Reuters) - Coffee chain Starbucks (SBUX.O) said it could pay up to 20 million pounds more in tax as it announced plans to change its accounting practices, surrendering to criticism from lawmakers, campaigners and the media.

A Reuters examination of Starbucks accounts published in October showed the company had reported 13 years of losses at its UK unit, even as it told investors the operation was profitable and among the best performing of its overseas markets.

"We are making a commitment that we will propose to pay a significant amount of corporation tax during 2013 and 2014 regardless of whether our company is profitable during these years," Starbucks UK managing director Kris Engskov said in the transcript of a speech sent to Reuters.

"We are still working through some of the calculations, but we believe we could pay or prepay somewhere in the range of 10 million pounds in each of the next two years in addition to the variety of taxes we already pay."

(Reporting by Sarah Young)

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