In April 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed GlaxoSmithKline's family tree on the D&B Hoovers corporate database. This showed that the company had numerous subsidiaries in jurisdictions considered by Ethical Consumer to be tax havens at the time of writing. These were in Switzerland, Bermuda, Singapore, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Curacao, Mauritius, Malta, Cyprus and Delaware. Of these, at least seven were holding companies, which was a high risk company type for likely use of tax avoidance strategies:
GSK Consumer Healthcare S.A. in Switzerland
STIEFEL LABORATORIES LEGACY (IRELAND) LIMITED in Ireland
GLAXOSMITHKLINE TRADING SERVICES LIMITED in Ireland
GLAXO WELLCOME MANUFACTURING PTE LTD in Singapore
GLAXOSMITHKLINE PTE LTD in Singapore
GlaxoSmithKline Far East B.V. in the Netherlands
Glaxo Wellcome International B.V. in the Netherlands
An internet search using the search terms “GlaxoSmithKline tax policy statement country” found no country-by-country financial information or reporting (CBCR). Ethical Consumer viewed the company's Tax Strategy document which stated "We do not engage in artificial tax arrangements –those without business or commercial substance –and we do not seek to avoid tax using ‘tax havens’ or transactions we would not fully disclose to a taxauthority." This was considered an acceptable clear public tax statement confirming that it was this company’s policy not to engage in tax avoidance activity or to use tax havens for tax avoidance purposes. However, the company did not provide a narrative explaining what each group entity located in a tax haven was for, and why it was not being used for purposes of tax minimisation. It stated that it supported CBCR reporting and the sharing of this information with tax authorities. It also stated "We are aware of the ongoing debate around public disclosure of CBCR data and continue to monitor developments in this area" implying that the company was not yet making this information publicly available.
Given that GlaxoSmithKline had two or more high risk subsidiaries in jurisdictions on Ethical Consumer's tax haven list and provided no country-by-country financial information, nor narrative explanation of the purpose of each entity, the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for likely use of tax avoidance strategies and lost a whole mark under Anti-Social Finance.