Town’s small firms plan Google-style tax avoidance

Could the scheme be rolled out to other towns in the UK? Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Could the scheme be rolled out to other towns in the UK? Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Share this article
1
Have your say

Small traders outraged by big international firms like Starbucks and Google which pay minimal tax are set to move their entire town ‘offshore’, using the same accounting practices as big international firms.

It is thought that small local businesses nationwide could follow suit if the move by Crickhowell traders is successful.

The plans, which are being documented by a BBC film crew, are being formulated with a view to sharing idea with other towns in the hope that the UK treasury will be forced to crack down on the big international firms which pay only minimal tax.

Crickhowell boats a wealth of small businesses, which have taken offence at the likes of coffee giants Cafe Nero, which has not paid any UK corporation tax since 2008, despite sales of around £1.2bn.

Jo Carthew, of family firm Crickhowell’s Black Mountain Smokery was encouraged by a meeting with HMRC when the town submitted its tax plans.

“Until now these complicated offshore tricks have only been available to big companies who can afford the lawyers’ fees,” she said.
“But we’ve put our heads together and worked out a way to mimic them. It’s jolly clever.”

She added: “It’s a threat to the government because if they don’t act this could be rolled out to every town. Everything we have proposed is legal.