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Care home owners face tax avoidance allegations

Consumers Feel The Pinch With Christmas Around The Corner

A new report has accused Canadian company, Revera, and US real estate company, Welltower, of using offshore havens to avoid paying tax on their UK care homes.

The report by the Centre for International Corporate Tax Accountability & Research (CICTAR) and Public Services International (PSI) levels the allegations at the foreign investors who are part owners of leading UK care home providers, Sunrise Senior Living, Gracewell Healthcare and Signature Senior Living.

The research says Sunrise, Gracewell and Signature, which all have headquarters in Buckinghamshire and together operate 60 care homes across the country, charged residents more than £225m in fees in 2019​ but still reported little or no profit in the UK.

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However, analysis of reports given to shareholders of US company, Welltower, which has a minority stake in the three companies, indicated that in 2019 it made a net operating income of £64m from its UK care homes in stark contrast to the UK care operators reported combined losses of £9m for the same year.

Report author Jason Ward said: “Because Welltower reports large profits to shareholders, we can see what is usually kept hidden. Complex corporate structures are designed to create artificial losses and avoid UK tax.

“The UK government needs to get tougher with care companies dodging UK tax. An inquiry must be launched to shine a light on practices that siphon huge sums of money out of the care system while paying staff poverty wages and cutting costs to the bone.

“The unrestrained pursuit of profit by international organisations who see the UK care sector as a soft touch demonstrate the urgent need for reform.”

CHP has asked Welltower for a response to the report’s claims.

A Revera spokesman told us: “We can confirm that Revera structures our affairs in a manner that abides by all laws in the jurisdictions where we operate.”

A Sunrise Senior Living UK spokesperson added: “Sunrise Senior Living UK is the management company responsible for the operation of Sunrise and Gracewell homes. We are not in a position to answer questions about the financial arrangements of our owners. Our focus is on providing high-quality, personalised care in our homes, 92% of which are rated Good or Outstanding by the CQC.”

Tags : FinanceGracewell HealthcareSunrise Senior LivingWelltower
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The author Lee Peart

1 Comment

  1. I don’t believe it is a fair reflection of our sector as a whole which is vastly made up of smaller law abiding, tax paying care providers.

    Unfortunately this does not apply to just corporates and international firms in the Care sector, many large multi nationals structure their affairs so as to minimise their tax liabilities in the Countries in which they operate, which is why some corporates choose to operators from tax havens!

    Totally agree that something needs to be done to rectify the situation and tax needs to be paid in the country of where the profits are made!

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