Lidl publishes UK tax bill for first time

GERMAN DISCOUNT SUPERMARKET LIDL has published details of its UK tax bill for the first time.

Lidl has around 600 stores in the UK with plans for a further 900 and paid “more than £25m” in tax on the profits earned here in 2013, the BBC reports.

Based on analysis by Kantar Retail, that is an effective corporation tax rate of about 20%, similar – if slightly lower – than the average rate paid by UK rivals such as Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

Lidl has no legal obligation to publish such details as it is a privately owned business based in Germany, where it produces consolidated accounts with no country-by-country breakdown.

That arrangement has in the past led to criticism from UK competitors over its perceived opacity, which some suspected might allow it to drive down its UK tax.

In a statement, Lidl said: “Every company had a social and economic responsibility to pay tax in correspondence with its earnings”.

“The rate of tax we pay is in line with UK law and with that paid by our UK competitors.”

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