Fresh anger over Amazon's UK tax bill

May 15, 2013
Internet giant Amazon came under fresh fire over its British tax status after official figures revealed it only paid £2.4 million ($3.6 million, 2.8 million euros)on UK sales of £4.2 billion last year.

Internet giant Amazon on Wednesday came under fresh fire over its British tax status after official figures revealed it only paid £2.4 million ($3.6 million, 2.8 million euros)on UK sales of £4.2 billion last year.

Figures filed to investors in the will increase the scrutiny on when they appear before a parliamentary committee on Thursday to clarify previous evidence they gave about their tax arrangements.

The US-based company used a subsidiary registered in Luxembourg to limit its British corporation tax bill to £2.4 million, £100,000 less than it received in government grants over the same period.

British lawmakers last year urged tax collectors to be more aggressive in confronting global companies who use , amid rising public anger over the issue.

Parliament's public accounts committee released its report about one month after it quizzed senior figures from coffee chain Starbucks, Amazon and Internet search giant .

Margaret Hodge, who chairs the committee, said at the time: "Global companies with huge operations in the UK generating significant amounts of income are getting away with paying little or no corporation tax here.

"This is outrageous and an insult to British businesses and individuals who pay their fair share."

She described Wednesday's figures as "just a joke".

"What people will find particularly galling is that the amount Amazon is paying in tax is actually less than they are taking from UK taxpayers in the form of government grants," she said.

"Companies like Amazon should pay their fair share of tax based on their economic activity in this country and the profits they make here."

A spokesman for the Seattle-based company said the company had complied with the law and highlighted its plans to create 2,000 British jobs over the next two years.

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