Facebook's UK Tax Bill Just Rose to £15.7 Million

By Tom Pritchard on at

There's always a lot of outrage whenever it's revealed how much tax big companies are paying, generally because it looks as though they're paying an absolute pittance when compared to the rest of their income. Well for those who feel it's incredibly unfair they can seemingly get away with not paying very much, there's good news. Facebook's tax bill just rose to £15.7 million, which is triple what it had to pay the previous year.

That itself is an increase of an increase, because the 2016 tax bill was also higher than the previous year, up from £4.2 million in 2015. The reason for such a large rise isn't particularly clear, especially since the company's revenue only rose by £4 million (£58.4 million to £62.7 million). That's only for its UK operations, mind, since the parent company reported £1.2 billion in revenue last year, a third year-on-year rise, as a result of increased revenues from inter-company and advertising reseller services.

If you've been concerned with the amount of tax companies like Facebook pay, you'll be happy to hear that £15.7 is just over a quarter of £62.7 million. Corporation tax is calculated based on profit, rather than gross revenue, which is usually the reason why big companies seem to pay such small amounts of tax, but a quarter of the annual revenue seems 'fairer' considering what regular people have to pay. Facebook probably doesn't see it that way, but considering the PR nightmare it's been dealing with over the past several months it would be a very dumb idea to complain about it in public.

This isn't the only corporation tax news either. Recently PayPal was subject to a review from HMRC, who decided it had to pay another £3.1 million - something PayPal has already agreed to. Chancellor Phillip Hammond has also been threatening tech companies with various new taxes, for a variety of reasons, but so far none of those have actually been put into action. Jeremy Corbyn also has similar ideas, though he wants to use that money to fund a homegrown rival.

Regardless of how those plans get implemented, it's good to see companies paying more tax. That way the government has more money to waste on daft things like failed Brexit negotiations. [BBC News]