Amazon Paid Just £11.9m in Tax on £5.3bn of UK Sales

By Gary Cutlack on at

Amazon's once again shown that tax doesn't have to be taxing when you're a massive multinational corporation with hundreds of accountants at your disposal, with figures showing its UK division paid just £11.9m in tax on its total sales of £5.3bn from UK buyers.

The internet shopping kingpin recorded a 14 per cent year on year increase in sales over here, much to the pain of our poor network of posties, although its controversial Luxembourg money-shuffling systems and international accounting network meant that, officially, the UK office made just £34.4m in profit, leading to a corporation tax bill of just £11.9m for selling us everything all the time.

This accounting misdirection sees the UK wing of the company providing little more than administrative support to its Luxembourg fulfillment centre, according to its accounts, with the Limited subdivision recording a turnover of £679m.

Competition officials are examining Amazon's shuffling of money around the EU while over here the Chancellor has introduced a new tax to hit those who appear to be artificially moving earnings away from the UK, plus Amazon itself has promised to start booking UK sales through the UK in the future -- meaning the annual tax outrage stories may start to lessen from 2016. [Guardian]