London: The full extent of online retailer Amazon’s tax avoidance has been laid bare after the firm was forced to reveal it paid just 1.8 million pounds in taxes despite making 3.35 billion pounds in sales in Britain.
Amazon had for years refused to disclose the closely-guarded numbers claiming they were ‘commercially sensitive’.
But after being grilled by MPs earlier this month, the true extent of its tax-scrimping in Britain has finally been exposed, the Daily Mail reports.
The figures, provided by Amazon in a letter to the Public Accounts Committee, showed the company’s UK operations recorded a pre-tax profit of 74 million pounds last year, but Amazon paid only 1.8million pounds to the taxman.
Amazon admitted it made 3.35 billion pounds in sales in Britain last year, much higher than the 207 million pounds figure that it previously showed in its UK accounts.
According to the paper, in a submission to MPs on the Public Accounts Committee, Amazon said it normally only broke down its sales figures into ‘North America’ and ‘International’, in its accounts, meaning it is impossible to tell exactly how much revenue it gleans from UK consumers.
The disproportionate payment, branded ‘immoral’ by the UK lawmakers, comes at a time of national austerity when ordinary families are suffering the worst squeeze on living standards for generations, the paper said.
First Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 17:42