AMAZON, the company so rich that their leader Jeff Bezos is building a £30m clock in some rocks, has announced it has dropped the amount of corporation tax it pays int he UK.
Last year, the company claims to have made £1.98bn in sales. Its pre-tax profits were put at £72m, yet they have paid just £4.5m in corporation tax, making their contribution 6.25 per cent, despite all of these other figures continuing to rise.
The last time we looked, corporation tax was 21 per cent.)
The company has spent the last year deflecting criticism on everything from workers rights and conditions, to the privacy risks associated with Alexa, to the growing problem of cheap and counterfeit goods allegedly being sold by Amazon as a fulfilment agent.
Amazon UK Services which runs UK warehouses liable for taxes said that all required tax was paid in both the UK and other countries.
Luxembourg is a lynchpin for this, given that is where Amazon bases its European operations. Handily, it offers some spectacular tax-haven opportunities for companies choosing to base themselves there.
Over on the techie side, Amazon Web Services UK has paid £155,000 – down from £404,000 last year, despite profits nearly doubling from £2.7m to £5m.
The BBC also notes that AWS gave its staff share awards worth £11.8m. Compare that to two years ago when that figure was £5.8m.
The question really, is how on earth did Amazon expect this news to go down? We’re all becoming wiser and wiser to tax avoidance, and whilst HM Government says it wants to clamp down on it, fear of losing big companies’ this close to Brexit is terrifying for them and so we’ll probably get some vague denouncement of it on the TV news tonight, and then nothing.
Mr Bezos, meanwhile, can rest comfortably in his bed knowing that his stupid clock is costing just under the entire GDP of Tuvalu. μ
Source : Inquirer