Amazon pays £293m tax on £13bn sales

Amazon paid £293m in tax in the UK in 2019, while its sales rose 26% to £13.73bn, up from £10.9bn the previous year, fuelling concerns about the taxation of digital companies

The online tech giant’s direct tax payment was 33% higher than the £220m paid in 2018. It does not release details of overall profits made in the UK.

The firm, which employs 33,000 people in the UK, said the taxes paid included business rates, corporation tax, stamp duty and other contributions.

Alongside the direct taxes, Amazon collected £854m in indirect taxes.

There have been calls for Amazon and other digital firms to increase the amount of tax they pay in the locations in which they operate, and the UK government launched a 2% digital services tax (DST) in April.

In a statement, Amazon said it pays ‘all taxes required in the UK and focusing on one small piece does not provide a full picture of Amazon’s overall contribution to the UK’.

‘We are investing heavily in creating jobs and infrastructure across the UK - more than £23bn since 2010.

‘We pay all taxes required in the UK and every country where we operate.

‘Corporation tax is based on profits, not revenues, and our profits have remained low given retail is a highly-competitive, low margin business and we continue to invest heavily.’

Amazon, Google and Apple have all said they will pass the 2% DST onto customers or businesses using their services, with Amazon raising fees for small businesses selling on its site to cover the cost of the tax.

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