London: Google and Amazon have refused to bow to pressure over their UK tax payments, saying that their contributions to the British system were appropriate.
In a report published on Monday, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) accused Amazon and Google of “immorally minimising their tax obligations”.
It emerged that over the past three years Amazon’s UK division has paid just 2.3 million pounds corporation tax on 7.1 billion pounds sales.
According to the UK authorities, Google paid 6 million pounds corporation tax on 2.5 billion pounds revenues in 2011.
Meanwhile, the Institute of Directors called for politicians to stop “hectoring from Westminster” and instead move to change Britain’s laws, the Telegraph reports.
Simon Walker, director general of the IoD, said it was “very frustrating for many companies who pay large tax bills that some multinationals are able to avoid doing so”.
But he echoed Google’s position that it was a situation for to the Government, not the companies, to resolve.
“The solution must be simplifying the tax system, not simply hectoring from Westminster,” the paper quoted him, as saying.
“If these firms are immoral to take advantage of tax loopholes, then politicians are surely immoral for creating the loopholes in the first place. Taxes should be simpler, to cut down on avoidance and relieve the burden our complex tax code puts on companies who do try to do the right thing,” he added.
First Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012, 18:46