Local shops in this small Welsh town are going offshore to try to get even with multinationals

Adam Sherwin (edited@ev_bartlett
Wednesday 11 November 2015 11:00
news

Local businesses in Crickhowell, a small Welsh town, are starting a TV campaign to stop tax avoidance by the likes of Google and Starbucks - by employing the same accountancy practices.

Followed by a BBC crew, shops in the Brecon Beacons town have submitted their own DIY tax plan to HMRC, copying the offshore arrangements used by global brands which pay little or no corporation tax.

The Powys tax rebellion, led by traders including the salmon smokery, coffee shop, book shop, optician and bakery, could spread.

Residents want to share their tax avoidance plan with other towns, to force the Treasury into legislation to crack down on loopholes which allowed Amazon to pay just £11.9m of tax last year on £5.3bn of UK internet sales.

Map: the i paper

In BBC2's The Town that Went Offshore, to be screened next year, the residents express anger at companies including Caffè Nero, which has not paid corporation tax in the UK since 2008, despite £1.2bn sales.

Jo Carthew, who runs Crickhowell's Black Mountain Smokery, said:

We were shocked to discover that the revenue generated by hardworking employees in these British high street chains isn't declared.

We want to pay our taxes because we all use local schools and hospitals but we want a change of law so everyone pays their fair share.

More: The biggest tax havens in the world, and Britain's role in their survival

More: We went on a tax avoidance tour through the heart of London

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