Scotland

Vodafone store closed by protest

Demonstrators have closed down a branch of mobile phone store Vodafone in a protest over tax avoidance.

About 30 activists protesting outside the shop on Glasgow's Buchanan Street led to the store not opening for business.

The activists claimed Vodafone was "let off" paying tax liabilities at the same time as the UK government was raising taxes and making cuts.

Vodafone said reports of an outstanding tax bill of £6bn were "incorrect".

A spokesman said there had been protests outside a small number of UK stores.

"We temporarily closed some of them and diverted customers to other locations so they were not inconvenienced," he said.

The spokesman added: "We pay our taxes in the UK and all of the other countries in which we operate.

"Reports suggesting that we have an outstanding tax bill for £6bn are incorrect, as this was never the case.

"In a statement from HM Revenue and Customs, the figure of £6bn was referred to as an 'urban myth'."

In July Vodafone agreed to pay HMRC £1.2bn to settle a long-running dispute over a tax assessment.

The case concerned 'Controlled Foreign Companies'.

Vodafone said the agreement was reached after a "full and rigorous examination of the facts and circumstances" by HMRC, followed by intensive and tough negotiations about the complex legal issues involved.

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