If you sold £288 million pounds worth of lattes last year, then how much tax would you expect to pay? “Not a bean,” is an answer that would be surprising.
However, the popular coffee shop called “Caffe Nero” have apparently done exactly that, to the point where on their official tax form for the last 10 years…there has not been a single penny paid to HMRC.
“That is strange,” many pundits have commented, especially when you consider that other similar companies are paying quite a bit of cash in corporation tax, year in and year out.
Even our very own hard working contractors. The very people who are the foundation of British economic success. Well, they are paying more tax than Caffe Nero, apparently, which just isn’t right if you ask me.
Sure, you can hire a contractor accountant to save you money on your tax return, which many people who visit this site do (just look to the right of the page for the best accountants), but it still doesn’t feel right that many of these big companies are getting away scott free.
Italian Coffee Holdings is the name that officially has been registered with companies house, although “Caffe Nero” is what your average man and woman on the street will know them by.
Some people march in there first thing in the morning, eager to get served their morning latte before rushing off to the office, another busy day on the cards no doubt.
Others, on the other hand, are more relaxed in their approach to coffee drinking. They stroll in at 11am on a weekday, put their feet up and enjoy a flat white. “Caffe Nero sure does make good coffee,” they say.
They also hire good accountants it seems, who are no doubt working around the clock to ensure that Caffe Nero is always the coffee shop that pays “tax zero.”
Who knows exactly what is going on here though? For all we know Italian Coffee Holdings, Caffe Nero and the accountants who they hire…well, they could be doing everything by the book and by the law. Only a court and a judge can decide otherwise.
Usually, corporation tax comes in at 19% on the profits that a company makes during the year, although Italian Coffee Holdings have paid nothing because they actually recorded a loss.
That’s right. While Caffe Nero are doing nearly £300 million quid in coffee sales per year, the company behind them are supposedly losing money.
Just what are they doing with all that money? Do they pay their servers £200 an hour or something? Perhaps all of you IT contractors should scrap the computer for the coffee machine, and don the Caffe Nero uniform to make the real money.
“Would you like a donut with your coffee, sir?” is what you will say, safe in the knowledge you are going to earn £2000 for a 10 hour shift.