Olympic sponsors milk tax breaks that never were

| July 29, 2012 | 0 Comments

By
Alex Hawkes

16:13 EST, 28 July 2012

|

16:13 EST, 28 July 2012

Tax campaigners hailed it as an extraordinary victory for public pressure and a rare act of conscience from the corporate world.

But an announcement from Olympic sponsors McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Visa and GE that they would ‘waive’ 2012 tax breaks, garnering positive publicity, was not all it seemed because they were not entitled to the tax breaks in the first place.

The pressure group 38 Degrees has mounted a huge campaign against the supposed tax breaks, getting almost 200,000 people to sign a petition calling for the sponsors to give them up.

Misunderstanding: Olympic sponsors McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Visa and GE were not entitled to tax breaks in first place

Misunderstanding: Olympic sponsors McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Visa and GE were not entitled to tax breaks in first place

But Revenue Customs told
Financial Mail last week that Olympic sponsors did not qualify for
corporation tax exemptions at the Games.

‘All sponsors that are UK resident companies will be liable to corporation tax in the normal way,’ it said.

McDonald’s UK, the burger giant’s
British company, will be operating restaurants on the Olympic site.
Because it is resident in the UK it cannot get the tax exemption. The
same is true for Visa, Coca-Cola and GE.

Tax advisers warned that Revenue was already starting to clamp down on abuse.

‘People have misunderstood the potential of the exemption,’ said Bill Dodwell, tax adviser at Deloitte.

Filed Under: finance news

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