skip to main content
  • *
  • *
Find Insight DIY on
* * *


Amazon paid 3m tax on 4bn UK sales

Amazon's main UK subsidiary paid just £3.2m in tax last year, according to accounts filed on Wednesday, despite overall UK sales of £4.2bn.

Amazon's taxes for last year are only marginally higher than the £2.5m the company received in government grants during the year, according to the annual accounts published at Companies House.

The revelation comes amid public unrest over the minimal contribution of Amazon and fellow digital giants Apple and Google to the British public purse, despite the important contribution UK sales make to their international revenues.

The online retailer's tax charge brings to £6m the total corporation tax raised from Limited in a decade. The company's tax bill was £1.9m in 2011, but these sums may not actually be paid to HM Revenue and Customs because of cumulative losses across the Amazon group.

Amazon employed 4,191 people at the end of 2012 in the UK, and thousands more in its warehouses via contracting agencies, but reduced payments to the British government by routing sales via a subsidiary in Luxembourg.

The UK company declared a turnover of £320m for 2012, up 50% on 2011. However, its income is largely raised from other Amazon companies in return for services such as warehousing and distribution and negotiating purchasing deals with book publishers.

Amazon gives a fuller picture of its UK revenues on regulatory filings to US investors, and this data showed a growth in UK turnover of 20% during 2012, to $6.5bn (£4.2bn).

The company's UK filing states: the company recorded a profit before taxation of £10.8m in the current year and "is expected to remain profitable for the foreseeable future".

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming said the figures showed the inadequacy of existing rules to tackle the problem of profit shifting by major corporations.

"The government clearly needs to do a detailed study on how to handle the tax implications of e-commerce," he told Reuters.

Nick Smith, a Labour MP, said he wanted the tax authorities to take a close look at Amazon, describing its tax payment as "pathetic".

"HMRC should be going through this company's tax arrangements with a fine-tooth comb," he said.

Source : Juliette Garside -

17 May 2013
view more UK DIY News

Insight DIY is the only source of market information that I need and they always have the latest news before anyone else.

Neil Anderton - Sales Director, British Ceramic Tile

Don't miss out on all the latest, breaking news from the DIY industry