Tax claims hit reputation as well as coffers

November 9th, 2010

By Vanessa Houlder

Financial Times

LONDON — Over the past fortnight, Vodafone stores across Britain have been blockaded by pro­testers wielding banners with the slogan “tax dodgers”. Orchestrated with the help of social media, the campaigners focused on a comparison between swingeing welfare cuts in the UK and what they claimed was Vodafone’s £6bn unpaid corporate tax bill – in spite of the figure being dismissed as an “urban myth” by HM Revenue & Customs. “If the rich paid their tax, you wouldn’t need to make a single cut to any essential service,” read one placard.

The fracas was just one sign of a growing trend for activists to focus on companies’ tax departments – and not necessarily because the companies have clashed with the taxman. Only recently, four well-known global companies – IHG, the international hotel group, Unilever, the fast-moving consumer goods company, Tui, the travel company, and Vodafone, the mobile phone group – found themselves at the centre of an unwelcome publicity campaign launched by Christian Aid.

Read more…

Written by admin

Follow @FinTrCo