France: Amazon Owes £159 Million in Tax

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Amazon has always been skilled when it comes to avoiding the tax man, but now tides are turning. Reuters reports that France is demanding £159 million in tax payments for a start.

France is claiming that the online retailer owes £159 million in back taxes, interest and penalties in relation to, says Reuters, "the allocation of income between foreign jurisdictions". It's the first of a series of such claims that look set to be levelled at Amazon — and other US-based retailers — as countries in the EU wise up to the tax tricks.

Amazon keeps its European tax bills low by channelling income through Luxembourg, which offers tax breaks to foreign companies which base themselves there. In its eyes, it's done nothing wrong — which is why the online retailer plans to fight the claim "in court if necessary", according to Reuters. For once, a trial that isn't about rectangles. [Reuters]