Does Amazon Pay Tax in the UK? Boris Johnson meets Bezos

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Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world and has an estimated fortune of over $ 200.6 billion, seeing his wealth increase during the Covid-19 pandemic.

His company, Amazon, also had no problem increasing sales during the lockdown, with a 51% increase in profits and a record global quarterly profit of $ 109 billion.

Paul Monaghan, Managing Director of the Fair Tax Foundation, said: “These numbers are mind-boggling, even for Amazon.”

“We are seeing an exponentially accelerating market dominance across the globe with revenues that continue to be largely untaxed, allowing it to unfairly undermine local businesses that take a more responsible approach.”

It should be noted that nothing Amazon does is explicitly illegal and that they operate under laws created and enforced by governments around the world.

In a recent meeting between Boris Johnson and Bezos, the British Prime Minister “raised the issue of taxation” and workers’ rights. Bezos has no obligation to listen to this, as long as current laws remain in effect.

Does Amazon Pay Tax in the UK?

Amazon paid just £ 492million in direct taxes to the UK in 2020, while estimates place the company’s tax-to-revenue ratio at just 0.37%. For context, the highest personal income tax rate in England is 40%.

Why is it? All sales made to UK customers go through a Luxembourg company, Amazon EU Sarl. It bypasses the HMRC and takes advantage of the country’s generous tax breaks.

The European Commission concluded in 2017 that Luxembourg had granted undue tax advantages and illegal state aid to Amazon and had been ordered to recover a quarter of a billion euros in unpaid taxes.

However, Amazon later won a deal which meant it had not been paid for.

A spokesperson for the company said, “Amazon pays all required taxes in every country where we operate.”

Despite a record turnover of 44 billion euros in Europe, Amazon paid no corporate tax in 2020.

Margaret Hodge, a Labor MP campaigning against tax evasion, said: “It looks like Amazon’s relentless campaign against appalling tax evasion continues.”

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