Amazon is under fire for its tiny £4.6 million UK corporate tax bill

  • Amazon’s corporate tax bill came to just £4.6 million ($US6 million) in 2017, down from £7.4 million($US9.6 million) in 2016.
  • That’s despite a big jump in operating profit and revenue.
  • Amazon said it pays all the necessary tax in the UK.

Amazon might have lost the race to become the first $US1 trillion company, but it can take consolation from its tiny UK corporate tax bill.

The retail giant is under fire for trimming down its corporate tax bill to just £4.6 million ($US6 million), despite recording revenue of almost £2 billion ($US2.6 billion), up 35% year on year.

Its operating profit almost trebled year on year to £80 million ($US104 million).

According to annual accounts filed to Companies House, Amazon’s corporate tax bill was £7.4 million ($US9.6 million) in 2016.

Amazon pays tax on profits, not revenue, but the numbers show the stark contrast between how much money the company makes in the UK versus how much it gives back in tax.

A tax deferral means Amazon’s actual tax bill for this year is actually £1.7 million ($US2.2 million), down from £1.3 million ($US1.7 million) in 2016. Part of the reason for the drop, according to Amazon, is because of share-based awards to staff.

A spokesperson told the BBC the company pays all the tax it is required to in the UK and other countries where it operates.

“Corporation tax is based on profits, not revenues, and our profits have remained low given retail is a highly competitive, low-margin business and our continued heavy investment,” the spokesperson said.

Amazon Services UK is one of several Amazon subsidiaries operating in the country. It comprises Amazon’s fulfilment centres, which processes the millions of daily online orders made by customers.

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