Amazon's corporation tax bill is less than it receives in grants
Despite making £4.2bn in sales, Amazon are getting grants. And it just so happens that those grants amount to more than the amount of UK corporation tax they're paying, which is bound to anger people as yet another huge company manages to sidestep their tax obligations.
Their corporation tax bill was £2.44m while the company received £2.5m from the Scottish Government to build a new distribution warehouse in glamorous Dunfermline.
"Amazon’s behaviour is not only unfair, it is anti-competitive, putting British businesses that do pay their proper tax at a disadvantage," said Margaret Hodge, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
"Paying £2.4m in tax on £4.2bn of sales is just a joke. What people will find particularly galling is that the amount Amazon is paying in tax is actually less than they are taking from UK taxpayers’ pockets in the form of government grants."
Amazon manage this tax-diddle because all sales to British customers are put through a Luxembourg affiliate, Amazon EU Sarl. It is funded by fees it receives from Amazon EU and, as these just cover operating costs, there isn't much for HMRC to tax. So, they're not breaking the law.
Apple, Starbucks, Google and Microsoft are also doing similar schemes, which is flummoxing MPs who like moaning about it, but not solving it. Amazon are unrepentant, saying: "Amazon pays all applicable taxes in every jurisdiction that it operates within."