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Alliance Boots accused of avoiding over £1bn in UK tax

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f6236 (Published 15 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6236
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Alliance Boots, the parent company of Britain’s biggest high street pharmacy chain, Boots, has avoided paying at least £1.12bn (€1.3bn; $1.8bn) in UK tax since it became a privately held company six years ago, by offsetting debt repayments against its UK profits, it has emerged.

The £1.12bn figure is given in a report published on Tuesday 15 October by the trade union Unite, the antipoverty charity War on Want, and the Change to Win federation of US trade unions.1

Alliance Boots has issued a statement claiming that the report contains several inaccuracies and emphasising that it “conducts its business and organises its tax affairs strictly in compliance with all applicable law (including legislation in the UK) and observes the highest standard of good ethics.” The statement adds that the company found it “extraordinary and disappointing” that the report’s authors had not contacted …

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