Amazon still paying a paltry amount in tax
Amazon are doing great in the UK, shifting £5.3bn in sales from British shoppers. Not bad eh? Well, as per, there's an issue with how much tax they're paying. Apparently, they paid £11.9m in corporation tax last year, which barely buys a decent centre forward these days.
Accounts filed at Companies House show that Amazon.co.uk made a profit of just £34.4m (in the 12 months to 31 December) which means they only had to pay a relatively small amount of tax. However, seeing as people in the UK account of 10% of Amazon's entire sales, something is going awry here.
Only last month, Amazon announced that they'd started booking UK sales through a British subsidiary after they'd sent their European sales through a subsidiary in Luxembourg for years. Of course, in Luxembourg, everyone enjoys lower tax rates!
The government are keen to get this all sorted out, and you'd expect that all these big businesses will be looking at moving their UK-bases to somewhere else, to increase profits. It is something that the Chancellor will have to play very carefully, or a load of big businesses will be off so quickly, we won't see their arses for dust.
Of course, Google, Apple and Facebook are all facing similar criticisms too, and between them, they employ a lot of people in the UK.
According to reports, Facebook paid annual corporation tax of £3,169 here, which is absolutely remarkable. It is amazing what a creative accountant can do with numbers.
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “You can understand people’s anger at organisations like Amazon perceived not to be paying their fair share, but our frustration should be focused on the politicians and bureaucrats who have created our ludicrously complicated tax code.”