Amazon admits paying just £73million more in taxes in Britain in 2019

Fury as Amazon admits paying just £73million more in taxes in Britain last year… despite racking up £3bn in extra sales

  • Amazon paid £293million in ‘direct taxes’ last year despite an increase in sales 
  • Online retailer racked up almost £3billion in extra sales even before covid-19  
  • Amazon has published details of its finances in an effort to be more transparent after being criticised for years for not paying its fair share

Amazon came under fire last night after admitting it paid just £73million more in taxes in Britain last year, despite racking up almost £3billion in extra sales.

The online retail behemoth published details of its finances in an effort to be more transparent after being criticised for years for not paying its fair share.

The figures showed business was booming even before the coronavirus crisis fuelled a dramatic surge in online shopping. 

But Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge said Amazon should be ‘shouldering more of the burden’ having ‘benefited fantastically’ from the pandemic.   

File photo dated 28 November, 2013 of an Amazon package being prepared at an Amazon warehouse

The retailer said sales jumped by more than a quarter to £13.73billion last year – up from £10.89billion in 2018. 

But it incurred just £293million in ‘direct taxes’ last year, an increase of just £73million on 2018.

Amazon said it paid a smaller proportion of its profits as tax last year because its investment of more than £690million on new warehouses and an office in Manchester meant it qualified for tax breaks.     

The company has accelerated its expansion efforts in the UK in 2020 after the coronavirus pandemic stoked demand.

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com Inc., speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, 19, 2019

Last week, it announced plans to hire another 7,000 staff this year to aid its growth strategy.

On Monday, the firm also announced John Boumphrey as the new boss of its UK operations, taking over from current country manager Doug Gurr in November.

Amazon, which is valued at around 1.6 trillion US dollars (£1.24 trillion), was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, a hedge fund executive.

Mr Bezos is the world’s richest person and worth a fortune of around 193.5 billion US dollars (£148.5 billion).

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