eBay Joins Growing List of Shamed UK Tech Tax Dodgers

By Gary Cutlack on at

Auction site eBay has joined the likes of Facebook, Vodafone and Apple on the list of dodgy tax avoiders, with reports claiming the retailer paid just £1.2m of tax on its massive £800m of UK sales.

As we've seen before, this isn't illegal. eBay is said to be using weird offshore arrangements to legitimately lower its declared UK income, this time revolving around the fact that PayPal, which the auctioneer uses to process the vast majority of its sales transactions, is able to push its money through the tax-friendly countries of Luxembourg and Switzerland.

A Sunday Times investigation claims eBay's UK operations may have earned around £789m in total in the UK during 2010, which ought to have led to a corporation tax bill of around £50m. Instead it paid just over £1m thanks to clever accounting, perhaps including waiting until five seconds before the deadline to submit its figures. [BBC]