Microsoft and Twitter Added to UK's Tax Shame Hitlist

By Gary Cutlack on at

Two more tech giants have been caught shamelessly bodging their UK tax submissions, with Twitter accused of ignoring return filing dates and Microsoft said to be paying ZERO tax on a whopping great £1.7 billion of UK online income.

Microsoft is using the old Luxembourg/Ireland system favoured by other multinational tax avoiders to limit its UK tax bill, apparently channelling funds raised through online software sales through tax-friendly Luxembourg. According to the Sunday Times, Microsoft employs just a skeleton staff of six people out in Luxembourg, who do little more than sit there transferring online sales income to Ireland in order to escape higher taxes in other countries.

Twitter, meanwhile, has come in for criticism not for avoiding payment, but for not bothering to submit its accounts on time. The social site has incurred a fine of £375 for not sending in its tax return this year, with its financial numbers due to be filed with Companies House back in September. Perhaps they're late thanks to coming via Luxembourg? [Telegraph and Sky News]

Image credit: Hiding money from Shutterstock