Amazon UK is celebrating its turnover passing £1 billion last year - by halving the corporation tax it paid.
Amazon UK Services, which handles the packaging and transport for the online shopping firm, paid £7.4 million in corporation tax in its 2016 financial year, but £15.8 million in the year before. The cut came despite the company, which employs about two-thirds of Amazon's 24,000 UK staff, raising its turnover from £946 million to £1.5 billion.
Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke described the sum as "peanuts".
Overall, the UK authorities granted Amazon a £1.3 million tax credit, which it will be able to deduct from future bills. Amazon received this cut due to a series of deductions, including £36 million of share awards to employees.
Partly due to the share awards, pre-tax tax profit fell from £48.5 million to £24.2 million.
Richard Murphy, a tax campaigner from City, University of London, told The Mirror, "Amazon is still not telling us the truth about its sales, profits and tax due in the UK. We can only see the results for its warehousing operation, and not what it really makes out of selling to us.
"That's not good enough in a world where tax transparency is key to customer and investor confidence.
"It's time for Amazon to adopt the new global approach to tax accounting that's called country-by-country reporting."
A spokesperson for Amazon UK said, "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 our continued heavy investment."
The value of Amazon's online sales in the UK passed £7 billion in the 2015 tax year, but the 2016 figure has not been made public yet. That revenue was diverted through a separate company in Luxembourg, which allowed Amazon to avoid paying the majority of UK corporation tax. However, following the introduction of George Osborne's ‘Google tax' (as reported by our sister site, The Inquirer), the company said that it would stop doing so.
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