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Amazon under fire for tax bill in UK

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 15 May 2013 23:12

Amazon under fire for tax bill in UK Internet giant Amazon has come under fire for the relatively low tax it pays in the United Kingdom, whilst racking up billions worth of sales.
Amazon reportedly paid $3.7 million of tax despite UK sales being around $6.5 billion - or around 4 billion. Amazon's figures also show that it received 2.5 million in government grants during 2012.

Tax avoidance has become a hot topic in the UK, and Prime Minister David Cameron is calling for action at the international level to stop large corporations from shifting profits around the world to avoid paying adequate tax.

In Amazon's case, all sales to British customers are routed through affiliate "Amazon EU Sari", located in Luxembourg. Amazon EU Sari employs around 500 staff, while Amazon employs 4,191 people in the UK, and thousands more indirectly through contracting agencies.

"The government clearly needs to do a detailed study on how to handle the tax implications of e-commerce," John Hemming, a member of the Liberal Democrats, said. On the opposite side of the House, Labour MP Nick Smith is calling on the HMRC to go through Amazon's tax arrangements with a fine-tooth comb.

Google will be grilled by a committee in the UK tomorrow over its own tax measures resulting in a very low tax bill compared to sales in the UK.

Tags: UK Amazon
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