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Google, Amazon and Starbucks to face inquiry from UK legislators over alleged tax avoidance

Executives from Google, Amazon, and Starbucks will field questions from UK legislators today, amid allegations that the companies aren't paying their fair share of domestic taxes. As Reuters reports, Google UK CEO Matt Brittin, Amazon Public Policy Director Andrew Cecil, and Starbucks Global CFO Troy Alstead will present evidence Monday afternoon to Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which is responsible for overseeing government finances.

At issue is an apparent discrepancy between the companies' global profits and their UK income taxes. Google, for instance, reported $4 billion in UK sales in 2011, but paid just $2.1 million (£1.3 million) in UK taxes, due to the fact that it funnels all non-US income through its Irish subsidiary. Amazon uses a similar strategy to keep its UK tax rate low, channeling European sales through a subsidiary based in Luxembourg. Last year, the retailer reported UK sales worth between $5.3 billion and $7.2 billion, on which it paid less than $1.6 million (£1 million) in taxes.

[Source: The Verge]