Amazon still paying a paltry amount in tax

26 June 2015

amazoninstant 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.”

TOPICS:   Social Media   Tax

6 comments

  • Albi
    "Of course, Google, Apple and Facebook are all facing similar criticisms too, and between them, they employ a lot of people in the UK." Evidently we the tax payers are employing these people instead. Not to worry though, the Tories aren't going to let their business friends suffer. Let the PR department worry about selling it to the public, or choose a big news day good for hiding bad news.
  • Matt T.
    Paying less tax=lower prices=more sales=greater VAT= we get the tax anyway.
  • Albi
    ... which is fine if you want one company to sell everything and no competition.
  • Bojangles (.
    Paying less tax=lower prices=more sales=greater VAT= "we get the tax anyway" Err... do you want to have a rethink on that statement?
  • Han S.
    "However, seeing as people in the UK account of 10% of Amazon’s entire sales" - That's beacuse sales have nothing to do with profits and if anyone knows anything about the histoyr of Amazon they'd realise they're not out to make profits as they plough it all back in to company growth
  • dermaid
    @Matt T Sorry but how does the likes of Apple charging Apple UK inflated prices and then charging them IP royalty based transfer payments benefit customers? All it serves to do (by design) is reduce the tax payable in the UK

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment