The Bookseller – News – Amazon paid no Luxembourg corporate tax despite record sales

Amazon paid no corporation tax on its European operations in Luxembourg in 2020 despite posting record sales of £43.8bn (£38bn), the accounts show.

Figures filed in Luxembourg for Amazon EU Sarl, the European headquarters through which it sells products in the UK and across much of the continent, reveal the company paid no tax as it declared a loss of ‚Ç ¨1.2 billion (£1 billion). This is despite sales rising by ‚Ǩ32.2 billion (£28 billion) in 2019.

The deposits, reported for the first time by the Guardian, showed the online giant got a further $56m (£48.7m) in tax credits as a result of the loss. It has also racked up $2.7bn (£2.4bn) in carried forward losses which can be used to offset future tax bills.

Labor MP Margaret Hodge told the newspaper that the UK government should follow the lead of new US President Joe Biden who has called for changes to the global tax system, including a minimum corporate tax rate.

She said: “It looks like Amazon’s relentless campaign of appalling tax evasion is continuing.

“Amazon’s revenue has skyrocketed under the pandemic as our high streets struggle, but it continues to shift profits to tax havens like Luxembourg to avoid paying its fair share of tax. These big digital companies All depend on our public services, infrastructure, and educated, healthy workforce.But unlike small businesses and hard-working taxpayers, tech giants don’t contribute equitably to the common pot for the common good.

Last week, Amazon announced that its net profits more than tripled in the first quarter of 2021, reaching $8.1 billion while global sales soared 44%.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “Amazon pays all required taxes in each country where we operate. Corporate tax is based on profits, not income, and our profits have remained low given the our heavy investments and the fact that retail is a very competitive, low-margin business. We have invested over 78 billion euros in Europe since 2010, and a large part of this investment is in infrastructure that creates several thousand new jobs, generate significant local tax revenue and support small European businesses with programs such as Fulfillment by Amazon – we now have 60 fulfillment centers, more than 100 headquarters and development centers, and more than 135,000 employees full time across Europe.And there are over 100,000 EU based sellers who use our services to reach new customers and grow their s activities. We operate this pan-European business from our head office in Luxembourg, where we have over 3,000 and growing employees, including our management team.”

Luisa D. Fuller