Burger King Plans to Avoid Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Taxes

Thursday, February 19, 2015
(photo: Sean Kilpatrick, Canadian Press/AP)

One of America’s iconic burger franchises is heading north for Canada so it can avoid paying upwards of a billion dollars in taxes to the U.S. government.


In December, Burger King and Canadian doughnut company Tim Hortons merged under the control of a new corporation, New Red Canada Partnership. The upshot for Burger King from the inversion deal is it is no longer a U.S.-based business, according to the group Americans for Tax Fairness. By renouncing its U.S. citizenship, Burger King stands to avoid paying between $400 million and $1.2 billion in U.S. taxes over the next four years, the group’s report states.


But shifting its headquarters to Canada won’t mean the fast food chain is pulling its lucrative franchises from the U.S., where it currently has 7,155 restaurants. It will still make more than $8 billion annually in sales from American consumers, who provide the majority of Burger King’s business, the group says.


The company is also by far the burger chain with the largest footprint on U.S. military bases, with locations around the world including Afghanistan, according to the report. The company is expected to make $875 million over the next five years from serving food to members of the armed forces and their families. So while military families support Burger King, the company won’t be repaying the favor by paying its fair share of taxes to help support the military.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Whopper of a Tax Dodge: How Burger King’s Inversion Could Shortchange America (Americans for Tax Fairness) (pdf)

Corporate Tax Evasion Strategy Debated in Senate (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Pfizer, Chiquita and Medtronic Try to Merge with Foreign Firms to Avoid U.S. Taxes (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Steve Straehley, AllGov)


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