Facebook rakes in £223million but pays no tax

9 October 2013

Bitterwallet - Facebook It has emerged that Facebook paid no corporation tax in the UK last year, despite the fact they made an estimated £223million. According to accounts, the British wing of the social network made a loss on these shores.

Figures show that FB's turnover here was £34.6million, though analysts reckon it was something more like £200million. These figures don't show up on the UK accounts because Facebook's sales in Britain are put through Irish books, where corporation tax is lower.

Of course, this is completely legal under the rules of HM Revenue & Customs, but that won't stop it sticking in the collective craw.

Margaret Hodge, chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said: "This is yet another example of what appears to be deliberate manipulation of accounts of economic activity to deprive the British taxpayer of a rightful tax contribution, according to the profits they make in the UK."

Facebook said: "We pay all taxes required by UK law and we comply with tax laws in all countries where we operate. We take our tax obligations seriously, and work closely with national tax authorities around the world to ensure compliance with local law."

TOPICS:   Technology   Social Media   Tax


  • Tits M.
    Oh FFS. So Facebook legally take payments through their legally setup Irish side, which the HMRC have declared legal and that no corporation tax is legally due for its UK business? Have I got that right? Margaret Hodge is a prick.
  • Jerry
    Exactly. Tits McGee, the only one who needs to be embarrased about this should be the authorities who made these crappy laws! Designing the tax system like a swiss cheese and then complaining if companies take advantage of it, thats just dumb.
  • Hiren
    This is yet another example of how poorly written the laws regarding tax are. It is clear that they have hardly or ever been updated to reflect change. Government are to blame no one else.
  • bob
    The majority of these stories focus on Turnover figures, not Profit. Any dipshit knows you only pay tax on Profit, not Turnover. If your Turnover is high, but Profit is low because you effectively pay a 'Franchise fee' equal to 99% of your profit to another part of the business based in a lower corporation tax country, then little/no tax is due. If our government had any commercial sense, we would change our rules to become one of the lowest corporation tax countries in Europe/World, and have everyone register their business in the UK. We may take a big hit in taxes collected on businesses already based here, but it would be far outweighed by the new taxes collected (low % of massive amounts). In additional, all UK businesses would get a great financial boost (by paying lower taxes), so could create more employment, pay higher wages, and even charge lower prices (benfiting UK customers, and increasing exports). Fuck any EU rules that say we can't do it. Just leave the EU taking our massive subsidy with us.
  • Size M.
    I really, really wish Facebook would just go away.
  • Shiftyniftysshadow
    Bob a job got it right ....and yes size of a mouse facebook will go away
  • Tim
    There seem to be an awful lot of companies who are, perfectly legally, moving their taxable income to areas where the tax is lower. Maybe if our tax was lower, this would be less of an issue? Hell, maybe we'd even have companies moving their money to the UK economy to avoid higher taxes elsewhere.
  • Engelberg D.
    & I wonder how many politicians invest in these companies (themselves or through "family trusts" ..because higher profits yield a better return for those who can afford the shares in the first place! change the rules on tax!? ..no it'll hurt the politicians themselves like a fork in the eye.
  • fibbingarchie
    Forget the tax that the exchequer isn't getting, just how many £bil is lost from economic productivity going down the crapper due to fuckwits Facebooking all day when they should be working?

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