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Amazon reveals full UK tax contribution for the first time

Press Association
04 September 2019

Amazon has revealed for the first time the full amount it has paid in taxes in the UK.

The online retail giant handed £220 million to the taxman in 2018, according to an internal audit analysing the accounts of all UK-based subsidiaries.

National insurance contributions made up the biggest proportion of the payment, followed by business rates, corporation tax and stamp duty.

Amazon also said £573 million was collected by the company in indirect taxes as a result of UK business activities.

Bosses have been criticised in the past for not revealing the details of tax payments in the UK, especially when all sales were routed through its European headquarters in Luxembourg. This was changed in 2015.

Amazon has already revealed total revenues in the UK were £10.89 billion last year, but added that £625 million was spent on updating warehouses and opening new offices.

According to the company, bosses have invested £18 billion in UK operations and capital expenditure between 2010 and 2018, and created 2,000 new jobs in 2019.

The company has also been criticised in the past for its treatment of workers, particularly in its warehouses where staff are monitored at all times.

Amazon has responded by no longer using zero-hours contracts for staff and increasing wages to Living Wage levels.

The accounts filed with Companies House show Amazon UK Services – the largest UK-based subsidiary for the company – saw revenues rise 18% to £2.35 billion.

Pre-tax profits were £75.4 million, up from £72.4 million a year ago.

Tax on the Amazon UK Services business was £14 million in 2018, up from £4.7 million.

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