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View Diary: Starbucks Drops Double Dutch With a Swiss Side (19 comments)

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  •  The drugstore chain Walgreen's... (8+ / 0-)

    ...based in Deerfield, IL, is contemplating a move of their head office to Switzerland to avoid taxes.

    Don't know if it will improve their customer service, which has become crappy in recent years.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 12:57:41 PM PDT

    •  They are being forced to contemplate it. (7+ / 0-)

      By a shareholder. They don't want to do it, but the shareholder apparently has enough shares to try to force the issue.

      If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

      by edg on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 08:28:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's also Common Law Fraud. (4+ / 0-)

        In the instance, false pricing. It is not true to say that Starbucks practices left them with a trick that "perfectly legally avoided UK taxes."


        "Starbucks UK buy their coffee not from Brazil or on an international exchange but from the Dutch subsidiary, Starbucks Coffee EMEA BV. (That company's President is based in their London Office). They in turn get [the coffee in their warehouses] from their [wholly owned subsidiary] in Switzerland, Starbucks Coffee Trading Co, at what is suggested is double the market price."

        That's fraud.

        A fair declared value for an item is the market value, not what a tax scam's paperwork would want it to be. The principle is similar to valuing estate assets for inheritance taxes: they go in at market value, at appraisal.

        "Legal" is different from both "undiscovered" and "unprosecuted." This scheme was undiscovered and it remains unprosecuted. It is not legal. The trickery of 1%er tax giveaways doesn't quite cover this level of open fraud.

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

        by waterstreet2013 on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 06:47:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think that's a scapegoat tactic. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't buy the "forced" claim.  From The Telegraph:

        A meeting was held in Paris last Friday to discuss Walgreens using Alliance Boots' holding company headquarters in Bern to legally change its tax domicile status. Such a move would significantly reduce Walgreen's tax bill. The shareholder group, which owns roughly 5pct of the company, included representatives from Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and US hedge funds Jana Partners, Corvex and Och Ziff, people close to the situation said.
        (emphasis added)

        5% is nowhere near enough to force through such a move.

        I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

        by tle on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 11:25:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Jeff - even if Walgreen's moved to Switzerland (2+ / 0-)

      it would still pay taxes to the IRS on its US profits.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 10:56:43 PM PDT

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      •  Only to the extent they couldn't finagle (8+ / 0-)

        the books to show those profits somewhere, anywhere, that they'd pay less.

        You know the old joke about the business owner looking to hire a new accountant? He'd narrowed the candidates down to 3 (why is it always 3 in these jokes??) & brought them in for a final interview:

        The first one was shown into his office & the business owner said, "I have just one last question: How much is 2 and 2?"

        Looking at him as if he were crazy, the first candidate replied, "Why, four."

        "Thanks, you'll be hearing from us."

        The secretary showed him out & brought in the next candidate, to whom the owner posed the same question. "Um," the man replied, "four. At least it was four the last time I checked."

        The last candidate came in & when asked the same question got up, looked around, leaned over the owner's desk, & said, "How much do you want it to be?"

        The greatest trick the GOP ever played was convincing the devil they had a soul to sell.

        by Uncle Cosmo on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 06:04:39 AM PDT

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        •  Or got caught committing those frauds. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thanatokephaloides, johnrhoffman

          Maybe that's what NSA has been doing, pilfering documents and conversations.

          It's unlikely connected to terrorism.

          Catching the big time tax cheats ?????

          I'd like to think that since we've burned the 4th Amendment to the ground, there's some good to come from it.

          "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

          by waterstreet2013 on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 06:52:32 AM PDT

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        •  Uncle C - there are some very creative ways (3+ / 0-)

          to recognize income in tax havens if you are a company with valuable intellectual property with can be held offshore and license fees can be paid to an entity where there is no tax. However, there is no way to hide the sales and profits of retail drug stores.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 07:23:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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