Financial Times: Letter to the Editor

This letter was sent to the Letters to the Editor desk at the Financial Times in response to recent reporting of Starbucks effective tax rate. 

Recent reporting by the Financial Times in relation to our tax affairs in the UK failed to include critical information from our filings and has created a false impression for your readers.  The Financial Times chose to focus its reporting on only two UK entities rather than the five that exist.  We would like the opportunity to set the record straight.

As our public filings clearly show, there are now five Starbucks companies headquartered in the UK since we moved our regional headquarters here several years ago. The effective rate of corporation tax paid by these UK businesses to the British exchequer is 25.3% - substantially more than the UK’s corporation tax rate of 19.5%.

We have acknowledged previous shortcomings in our tax obligations in the past, and have taken unprecedented efforts to change that including moving our regional headquarters to the UK. 

In the future, we would be grateful if the Financial Times accurately states this effective tax rate. 

We would hope that the Financial Times will report our tax affairs accurately in future.

Regards,

Martin Brok

President, Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa