Amazon’s UK team pays less than £4m in corporation tax despite boosting sales by £1.9bn

Amazon’s UK team paid less than £4m in corporation tax in 2020 than in 2019, despite a £1.9bn rise in overall sales last year.

According to Companies House, corporation tax contributions from Amazon UK Services – its warehouse and delivery operations – rose 26%, to £18.3 million in December 2020, from 14.5 million. million pounds sterling in 2019.

But over the same period, Amazon’s UK sales rose 64% to £4.85bn, with profits rising by a quarter to £128m.

The increases helped boost Amazon’s total UK revenue from retail, logistics and IT services to £20.63 billion in 2020, from £13.73 billion in 2020. 2019.

The online retail giant has been marred by controversy over its UK tax bill, as the group officially reports its UK retail sales through Luxembourg, with Amazon UK Services accounting for only a small proportion of its UK operations.

But the company insists that its UK retail sales, related expenses, profits and taxes are registered in the UK and therefore declared and paid directly to HM Revenue and Customs.

The online retail giant tried to avoid criticism by releasing a statement that its UK business paid £492m in “direct taxes” in 2020, up from £293m in 2019.

This figure includes Amazon’s national insurance contributions – which have risen significantly in 2020 due to increased employment – ​​as well as professional fees, stamp duty and corporation tax.

The company also said it paid £1.06billion in indirect taxes in 2020, due to VAT on increased sales and higher taxes on employees as the workforce increased.

Amazon currently employs more than 55,000 people across the UK, including 10,000 who have been hired this year to meet the growing demand caused by Covid.

Since 2010, the company said it has invested more than £32 billion in its UK warehouses, delivery stations and workforce.

In a statement, the company said: “We are proud of the significant economic contribution we make to the UK economy.

“Looking ahead, we know the UK remains full of opportunity and we continue to be excited about the potential to continue investing, creating jobs, developing talent and positively impacting communities. communities across the country.”

Luisa D. Fuller