Starbucks has "made a joke of the tax system"

Angry reaction from professionals.

"Absolutely extraordinary" decision. Photograph: Getty Images

Yesterday the American coffee giant bowed to public and political pressure by announcing plans to voluntarily pay over £20m in corporation tax to HMRC over the next two years

However, the tax profession has reacted angrily to the proposal, claiming it “makes a mockery” of the tax system.

Chris Morgan, head of tax policy at KPMG, said, “I think what they've said is absolutely extraordinary and really does change the tax landscape. It is the first time I have seen public opinion make a company change its mind.

"This is clearly a voluntary decision despite taxes being collected according to law and principles. HMRC might be very nervous about how things are done because their job is to collect the right amount of tax and they don't want to overcharge people,” added Morgan.

Conor Delaney, tax lawyer at Milestone International Tax Partners, said, "You have a fundamental principle that you can only be taxed by clear legislation and yet you have this process where a company is hauled up and publicly embarrassed and blackmailed into volunteering more tax." 

The announcement followed news earlier this week that the coffee giant was considering changing its accounting practices.

Starbucks conceded that against “the backdrop of these difficult times, in the area of tax, our customers clearly expect us to do more.”

This story can be read in full in economia.