The online retailer Amazon has provoked more controversy about its tax avoidance after accounts yesterday showed it paid only £9.7m in corporation tax in Britain last year, despite revenues rising 13 per cent to a record £4.7bn.
Published accounts for Amazon.co.uk reported sales of only £449m. However, the US parent company’s stock market filings, under US accounting rules, show it made 10 times that amount from Britain. Most of the £4.7bn in sales were processed offshore in Luxembourg to avoid UK tax.
Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Commons Public Accounts Committee and is a vehement critic of Amazon’s tax arrangements, said: “It’s not on. Everything you get from them says Amazon.co.uk on it. Every parcel you get from them says Royal Mail with a British stamp on it.
“To their customer base, they pretend to be British, yet they refuse to pay their tax. All we ask is that they pay a fair tax on their business in the UK.”
An Amazon spokesperson said: “Amazon pays all applicable taxes in every jurisdiction that it operates within.”