Lynn Stuart Parramore
Over the last week, Burger King has been getting slammed for a scheme to worm out of its U.S. tax obligations, but a new report shows that’s just business as usual for the company. (Burger King decided to move its tax base to Canada by acquiring the Ontario-based coffee and donut chain Tim Hortons, which will allow the firm to get out of paying billions in U.S. taxes.)
Reuters just took a look at the fast-food giant’s regulatory filings in the U.S. and overseas, and found that Burger King has a sordid history of scamming taxpayers through creative accounting tricks that make profits magically appear in low-tax areas overseas. The company has been so successful at artful dodging that its taxes are among the lowest in the industry (26 percent compared to 31 percent for McDonald’s, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts). In the U.S., the headline federal corporate tax rate is supposed to be 35 percent on profits.
According to Reuters:
“Burger King generated almost 60 percent of its revenues in the United States between 2011 and 2013, regulatory filings show, but the chain reported just 20 percent of its profits in the country over the period.”