Boots’ parent company Alliance Boots has avoided £1.1bn tax in corporation tax since going private six years ago, campaign groups have claimed.
The Unite union and campaign groups War on Want and Change to Win claim that Alliance Boots avoided tax by routing its cash through tax havens such as Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands.
Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, said that the company has “deliberately woven a web to support its tax avoidance habit”.
“Tax avoidance is now part of the DNA of a corporate British culture that is rotten to the core,” he said. “While this government pursues the needy with a single-minded cruelty, George Osborne does little to stop corporate Britain from stripping earnings in the UK and sending profits to tax havens.
“Boots has abused the trust of the British public and must immediately come clean on its tax affairs, and act more responsibly towards this country.
“And if it will not, the government must make it, by closing the tax avoidance loopholes and not granting public service contracts to companies that avoid their tax liabilities. These practices must not be rewarded through the public purse,” he added.
A spokeswoman for Alliance Boots said: “It is extraordinary and disappointing that this organisation has not at any stage contacted us during the preparation of their report or subsequently.
“We have published a detailed Annual Report on our website containing comprehensive information on both our tax charge and tax paid.
“In recent years this has included details of our tax charge and tax paid between the UK and other countries in line with evolving best practice.”
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