Olympic Sponsors To Turn Down UK Tax Breaks

By ExpatBriefing.com Editorial 20 July, 2012

In the face of mounting pressure, Olympic Sponsors Coca-Cola and McDonald's have announced that they will not make any tax exemption claims with regard to their roles in the forthcoming London games.

Campaign group 38 Degrees has amassed nearly 17,000 signatures for its online petition against tax breaks for Olympics corporate sponsors. According to the group, its aim is to "scare these image-conscious companies into backing down and refusing their Olympic tax-dodge". It reacted to the news by claiming on its website that the petition was working, with "two down".

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is providing a temporary exemption from UK corporation tax and income tax for certain non-resident companies involved in the Olympics. A non-resident company qualifies for the tax break where they employ accredited non-residents temporarily living in the UK to perform an official function at the Games. The relief is also available where London 2012 Partner workers are employed to enable that Partner to provide services specifically for the purpose of delivering the Games.

This non-resident qualification has been key to both Coca-Cola's and McDonald's clarification of their Olympics tax affairs. McDonald's was the first to announce that it "will not be making any corporate income tax exemption claim with respect to any activity" concerning its involvement with the Games. The fast food giant will have 2,000 employees manning the Games, all but 100 of whom will be UK nationals. These international employees will be paid by their respective home nations, McDonald's confirmed.

Coca-Cola was soon to follow suit, stressing that it had never intended to, nor would it make any claims for corporate or income tax relief. As with McDonalds, any non-UK nationals will be paid by their home countries. More than 90% of Coca-Cola employees working at the Games are said to be UK nationals.

It has been reported that Visa and GE will also waive their right to these tax breaks. 38 Degrees has yet to comment on this news.

Tags: Expatriates | Tax | Tax Avoidance | Employees | Corporation Tax | United Kingdom | Food | Tax Breaks | International Organisation | Individual Income Tax | Services |


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