Wednesday 9 September 2020 11:40 am

Amazon pays just £293m in UK corporation tax despite revenue bounce

Amazon paid out less than £300m in tax to HMRC last year, despite raking in an extra £3bn in revenue.

The e-commerce giant said it paid £293m in direct tax — meaning contributions paid directly to the Treasury through levies such as corporation tax and business rates — in 2019, rising by more than a third from £220m a year earlier.

Amazon also noted it paid £854m in so-called indirect taxes, such as payments by third parties selling goods on its marketplace and employee taxes.

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Meanwhile revenue rose to £13.7bn, up from £10.9bn in 2018, thanks to an expansion of its grocery delivery service and digital products such as Prime Video.

Today’s figures are only the second time Amazon has given details on its contributions to the British public purse, after facing pressure over its lack of transparency despite its outsized presence in the country.

The company did not provide a figure for its overall profit in the UK.

However filings for its operations and logistics arm Amazon UK Services, set to be released on Companies House this week, showed its profit jumped 35 per cent to nearly £102m as revenue rose to nearly £3bn.

For that portion of its business Amazon paid £14.46m in corporation tax in 2019, up three per cent from its tax bill of £14.03m a year earlier.

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Amazon has instead opted to plough cash into investing back in its British business, with plans to hire for more than 10,000 new roles in the UK this year alone.

A spokesperson for Amazon said: “We pay all taxes required in the UK and every country where we operate, and focusing on one small piece does not provide a full picture of Amazon’s overall contribution to the UK.

“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.”