Facebook's UK corporate tax bill in 2014 was less than the cost of this annual commute between London and Brighton

 
Lynsey Barber
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Facebook's tax bill was slightly higher than previous years
Facebook's tax bill was slightly higher than previous years (Source: Getty)

Facebook paid just £4,327 in corporation tax last year - less than the annual cost of travel for some people commuting to London from Brighton each day.

The miniscule amount was paid on losses of £28.5m at its UK business, according to its latest accounts, up from £11.6m the year before. Revenues hit £105m in 2014, more than double the previous year.

The company's finances go largely through its European headquarters in Ireland where it's able to minimise taxes through the "Double Irish" loophole. Facebook reported profits of $701m and revenue of $12.5bn across its entire business last year.

Facebook's tax bill in the UK also comes in at less than most Londoners - £1,992 cheaper in fact - based on the average paid in income tax.

The latest payment is up slightly on the previous year, however, when it paid just £3,169, although at the same time it did receive a £182,000 tax credit due to adjustments in prior years.

Ireland has taken steps to close the "Double Irish" which has been used by many US companies setting up operations in Europe to minimise tax bills.

George Osborne is expected to unveil new measures to crack down on these kind of tax practices in his Autumn Statement as part of wider efforts across G20 countries.

Osborne said at a meeting of the International Monetary Fund on Friday that "no one should be in any doubt we will take steps at future fiscal events" to introduce new rules.

“We want the U.K. to have a competitive tax system. But we do want companies to pay their fair share. We have been more than impressed by the progress made internationally to develop the plan.”

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