Turns Out Starbucks Is A 'Grande' Tax Avoider! And Other Assorted Coffee Talk

Everywhere Else News

Good day, fiends, junkies, and catalog models. It's officially Fall, which means it's time for some Coffee Talk! What have our caffeinated Corporate Persons have been doing with themselves when they're not competing to create the flavor least likely to be found in nature?

Starbucks Hiding Money For Good Cause, Or Maybe To Avoid Taxes

Is there a Corporate Person more full of shit than Starbucks? Maybe it should take three sips of its Burnt Rubber Dark Roast and PRESTO! its system will be flushed out with all the ceremonial grossness it deserves.

This week, the EU fined the Dutch arm of the ubiquitous sludge purveyors $30 million (or 34 million Euros if those are even a real thing) for being tsk-tsk shady when it comes to paying their fair share of taxes. It's kind of complicated if you're not a soulless corporate tax attorney, but essentially, Starbucks set up a system whereby it would hide profits by buying and selling to itself through its owned subsidiaries. For instance, one of its London intellectual property subsidiaries was exempt from corporate taxes under Dutch and UK law (sure, why not?) and thus received overinflated purchases from other Starbucks companies and reaped large (non-taxable) profits.

We don't know how many corporate structures you need to sell sugar and caffeine to tight-assed drones and fledgling screenwriters, but apparently it's a lot. What further complicates the matter is that the Dutch government provided Starbucks with what's known a "comfort letter," which is a theft exemption that basically says, "Yes, we know you're stealing our revenue during a lengthy period of austerity but it's all good. We need you, Starbucks. Our 'coffee shops' used to be known as cool places where tourists come to get high as fuuuuuck, but here take this $$$ so we can be like the rest of the godforsaken planet. We're all doomed anyway. With Love And Comfort, Holland."

Thanks to its deal with the Dutch government, Starbucks cut its tax burden by up to €30 million since 2008, the commission said. Last year it paid the Netherlands just €2.6 million in corporate tax on pretax profit of €407 million, a rate of less than 1 percent.

EU antitrust ballcrusher Margrethe Vestager is not amused, because Starbucks is clearly cheating, and she's not A Idiot. She's coming after multiple companies that are getting sweetheart deals from member countries. Starbucks is appealing this decision but a lot of corporate people and their government lovers are on the edge of their thrones watching how the case unfolds.

Great stuff if you're a Euro Commie with leather pants and a reasonable work schedule. But as Americans, we're occasionally told that although taxes are the worst injustice since God gave us dominion over the Earth but NOT Mars and stuff (WTF God?), you need to pay your taxes or else you're a deadbeat moocher. That is, unless you're a rich person or a Corporate Person, whereby your tax avoidance is the most patriotic thing since Betsy Ross knit the first shotgun. That's why we let Starbucks stash billions offshore on top of the tax deductions we give them for qualifying as manufacturers because they roast their own terrible coffee beans. That's right. Your New Economy manufacturing cornerstone is Starbucks, or as their cup at the coffee shop reads, "Darla."

Yep, our daddy worked the Starbucks lines, makin' the beans that got us through the late night TV wars. His daddy worked the bean lines. Now we're gonna work the Starbucks lines. And then there's Uncle Dave who worked the pumpkin spice mines before he died of cinnamon lung back in '89.

Godspeed, guys. Hope that Makin' Stuff In US subsidy trickles down to y'all.

Crappy Donut Shop Can't Get Its Crappy App To Work For Crappy Jerk Customers

Do you have a lot of Dunkin' Donuts where you live? We sure do. Have you ever been in a Dunkin' Donuts and thought, "Man, I really wish I had a phone application whereby I could pay with my phone and not one of the other half dozen methods of payment at my disposal"?

Well you're kind of in luck. Because the Double D has the tools you need for ordering your coffee or whatever uber-sweet pumpkin-tinged bath water you savages drink nowadays. The Dunkin' Donuts app is designed to let you save crucial negative seconds by allowing phone payments, as well as giving you redeemable bonus points redeemable for free junk (AKA American Dopamine).

Here's the problem: the app was taking too long to load and we need that sausage bagel sandwich yesterday. The people are not happy. Complaints were so heavy the company sent an apology to 5 million customers, with troubleshooting instructions to aid in efficiency and the almighty accumulation of points.

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Dear Dunkin' Donuts, keep your chin up. You guys are already efficient. That's what you have going for you. You could have a line as long as a queue of folks begging to see a rap battle between Random Kardashian and Pope Francis and there's no way anyone is waiting more than five minutes. We get that your app helps you analyze purchase trends and gather personal information, but no one really needs a smartphone to exchange money for an iced coffee and a chocolate glazed donut.

Dear Dunkin' Donuts Customers, we're not going to tell you to grab a decaf because decaf is weird, but geez maybe relax a little bit and calm down with the vicious reviews and snarky tech suggestions like you're a blogger or something. Check out this one-star review/cry for help from Jennyjones0921:

"I am an avid dunkin donuts customer. I go every day sometimes 3 times or more a day(...)"

Mother of God let's stop right there. "3 times or more"?! Are you under some sort of perpetual congressional investigation, appearing in front of Jim Jordan (R-Dicklandia) on a daily basis? Jennyjones0921 - please know that you are loved. We are here for you but you are killing yourself.

IHOP Social Media Goes Full Bro, Apologizes

Come hither and grab a bottomless Cup O' Joe at the booth across from the Goth Kids who somehow don't have a curfew. We'll tell you a tale of Corporate Person comedy gone awry.

It was a crisp October morning. A young white man (we're pretty sure) in weather-inappropriate shorts and flip-flops sidles up to the keyboard. He stares at a picture of pancakes. He turns on some Diplo. He stares some more. He giggle snorts. He tweets:

It's about BOOBS! But also pancakes. Some might say this is insulting to women. More might say it's insulting to comedy since this "joke" is probably older than the IHOP Pledge writing it.

But it's 2015 and people are using "chill" as a noun and "trash" as an adjective, so who are we to judge what the United Nations of Breakfast decides to tweet? And who's to say that Frat Humor isn't the international language of Diners? Just look at these classic IHOP tweets from the archives.

Ah the old adultery/sausage (is that sausage?) joke. Mistresses! Aren't they the worst? Unlike sausage(?), which deserves love and empathy.

Lets close with another old standby.

In fairness, the continuous "get down to IHOP for some grub unless you're an ugly, small-breasted female" tweets seemed to be well-received and in use for months. But the one this week was beneath what pancakes are all about and prompted an apology.

C'mon IHOP. Dumb and Immature (and 24 hours). That's your brand. And a strong Corporate Person never apologizes for its brand. Be you, IHOP.


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