Tuesday, July 26, 2011

GlaxoSK: welcome words, now walk the walk

Copied from the Tax Research Blog:

As the Guardian has reported:
GlaxoSmithKline lent its support to the UK economy on Tuesday by pledging to hire more staff and pay more taxes – in stark contrast to its US rival Pfizer, which is shutting a key centre in southern England.

Glaxo’s chief executive, Andrew Witty, reiterated that the government’s patent box – which will offer lower rates of corporation tax on profits generated from the fruits of UK research and development from 2013 – had made the UK more attractive. He has previously attacked British companies that relocate in search of lower taxes, lambasting businesses that turn themselves into “mid-Atlantic floating entities” with no connection to society.
Of course I welcome this, but only cautiously.

GSK has a long history of tax avoiding, on transfer pricing and of using tax havens.

So this change is welcome – but I’ll be convinced when I see the evidence. So my challenge to GSK is a simple one. Adopt country-by-country reporting and then we’ll know if you are delivering the tax we expect. Doing so would make you a real world leader.

Bite the bullet: walk the talk and show us you pay your tax to build the type of society – the democratic society that supports health for all paid for from tax – that is the only sustainable base for your business.

If you don’t this is welcome – but only as a gesture.

The choice is yours: gestures, or the real thing?


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