Amazon UK – Tax Dodger

Amazon UK – Tax Dodger

amazon.co.ukAmazon UK paid £2.4m tax on £4bn sales, a tax dodge that is possible as it routes it’s UK sales via a Luxembourg affiliate!

Amazon’s UK subsidiary rate of tax paid is less than 0.1% – according to the the online retailer’s accounts. Further to this according to Companies House records,Amazon receives from the government £2.5m in grants.

The taxes are relatively low compared to sales because the company earns its profits in Luxembourg. Labour MP Nick Smith described Amazon’s tax contribution as “pathetic”.But Amazon has always insisted that it pays all required taxes in every jurisdiction that it operates in.

Revelations about the tax arrangements of companies including Amazon, Google and Starbucks have sparked a debate about tax avoidance in the UK.

Matt Brittin, head of Google’s northern European operations, is expected to be questioned by MPs later on Thursday over the company’s tax affairs.

Tax implications

HMRC Tax ImplicationsThe companies say they follow the rules, but Prime Minister David Cameron recently urged countries to work together to clamp down on aggressive avoidance schemes or tax dodging to you and me.

Amazon.co.uk is thought to have classified itself as a service provider to its Luxembourg business, Amazon EU Sarl, in order to reduce its tax bill. Its UK business employed 4,200 people at the end of 2012, compared with 380 in Luxembourg. The £2.4m tax bill was just below the £2.5m aid it received from the Scottish government last year to expand its warehouse operations in Dunfermline and Gourock.

 

Labour MP Nick Smith said Amazon’s tax payment was “pathetic”.  “HMRC should be going through this company’s tax arrangements with a fine-tooth comb,” he said. John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP, said the figures showed the failure of existing rules to tackle the problem of companies squirreling their profits in tax havens.

“The government clearly needs to do a detailed study on how to handle the tax implications of e-commerce,” he said.