The other day, I got some coupons from Burger King in the mail. Typically, I give them one look and discard them.
Why? Most of the time they require the purchase of fries and a drink. I have trouble looking at that without thinking, “Hmmm, fried starchy carbs and sugary or chemically drinks at extremely high margins.”
This time, there were a couple of items of interest, some buy one get one free breakfast sandwiches. These, of course, are not a pillar of health, but at least there’s significant protein. With the coupons they would be reason.
I mentioned it to my wife and she was not interested. Instead she cited the recent news regarding Burger King.
By now, you’ve probably read of Burger King buying the Canadian company Tim Horton’s. It seems that everyone has come to the conclusion that it has done so to legally move its headquarters to Canada and avoid paying US taxes.
A couple of days later, I mentioned that the idea of boycotting Burger King could make for an interesting article. She doused it a bit by bringing up the points that it was already extremely low on her list of places to eat. She doesn’t like the food (save the Italian chicken sandwich) and the health topic has already been addressed. I’m more tolerant of the food’s taste, but even so, I only visit it about once a year.
I’m sure Burger King is trembling at the thought of losing $7 a year of revenue from us.
Tossing that aside, should we boycott companies that make moves like these? I consider myself a very Patriotic person and my instinct is to say, “Hell Yeah!”
When I think about it more, I’m not so sure. Burger King has a responsibility to its shareholders to maximize profits. If taking advantage of legal tax codes allows it to do that, is that so terrible? I haven’t met anyone who has said, “I like to pay more taxes for the good of my country, so I’m not going to take advantage of my 401K/Roth IRA.”
If Burger King doesn’t take advantage of these legal tax codes should we chastise them for not maximizing profits for its shareholders?
Sometimes I think big moves like this are needed to fix a broken system. Perhaps the United States government should take a look at this and ask, “Is our tax code effective if companies are effectively trying to buy their way out of country? What can we do to make the system better?”
I’m not sure what the answer is there. I’m not a tax expert and when it comes to corporate taxes, I admit to being particularly ignorant. However, perhaps if the majority of taxation was shifted towards sales tax at the point of purchase, it would matter less where a company’s headquarters is located.
It’s rare where I can see sympathize with both sides. Readers know that I tend to have strong opinions. If it wasn’t obvious in the article, I’m clearly on the fence. Let me know what you think