International restaurant chain uses complex offshore structure including BVI companies

The Guardian reported that well-known restaurant chain Nando’s had been accused of operating a complex offshore tax avoidance scheme. South African capital of the chain flows through Malta, the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Panama and the British Virgin Islands. At the top of the complex structure, there is the entity where profits are held – the trust registered in the Channel Islands and not liable to pay UK taxes. It is claimed that the trust contains not less than £750m. This, although legal, structure significantly reduces the amount of tax paid by the company not only the UK but in the other countries where it is present.

Also, Nando’s follows another legal way to legally reduce the UK corporate tax – by making various permissible payments offshore before paying UK corporate tax on the remainder of profits.

Nando’s commented in the statement, saying that although the financial structure of international company is complex, they “have always been open and honest about the tax we pay in the UK.”

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