Netflix Joins "Tax-Efficient" Tech Elite With UK Bill of £0

By Gary Cutlack on at

Netflix has truly joined the ranks of the transglobal superjumbo tech titans, as it's gone down the road of complex offshore taxation shenanigans to ensure a UK corporation tax bill of... zero. Not only that, but it somehow wangled a rebate from the government of around £174,000. Maybe that was a thank-you for keeping all the youths inside and sedated in front of their screens?

The numbers are particularly shocking as Netflix's accounts appear to show that it made £23.5m in the UK, although using the simple mathematics of multiplying its quoted UK subscriber number by the average subscription fee (8m x £7.99) you get a vastly higher number. Whatever the real amount of money raised here, the company's UK tax liability is offset by booking sales through the Netherlands and claiming the UK department is nothing more than a keen helper.

As well as using this classic multinational tax system to lower corporation tax on its profits, Netflix also managed to wangle a £174,000 refund, thanks to tax credits earned by shooting Brad Pitt vehicle War Machine in the country.

Netflix says it's all fine, though, with a spokes-stream buffering out: "Netflix is contributing to the UK economy in many different ways, including generating significant amounts of VAT for the UK government through the provision of our service to UK-based subscribers." [Guardian]