New Outrage as Amazon Pays £3.2m Tax While Taking £2.5m in Government Grants

By Gary Cutlack on at

New research into the possibly shady world of Amazon UK and its accountant friends in Luxembourg has emerged, with the company paying just £3.2m in corporation tax in the UK last year -- a figure made all the more laughable by the fact it claimed £2.5m in government grants. It's the world's biggest benefit claimant.

There's one big disparity that Amazon will have to answer. It claimed to have earned a total of £320m from us lot last year in its UK accounts, despite telling US investors that it actually raked in a staggering £4.2bn from sales here. Obviously it's the definition of "here" that is the question, with the retailer notoriously shoving its earnings through tax-friendly Luxembourg.

A thorough investigation in the Guardian has probed its staffing situation as well as its tax dealings, finding that some of Amazon's trade deals are negotiated by staff in its Slough offices, making its claim to be based in Luxembourg all the more spurious.

Amazon has already been described as being "evasive" about its UK tax affairs, and it's thought the company could be called in to face MPs again to explain what Margaret Hodge, chair of the public accounts committee, says is "a discrepancy between some of the evidence in this report about its activities in the UK and what the committee was told by Amazon when they appeared before us last year." [Guardian]