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Amazon's tiny European tax bill

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

GMB SLAMS AMAZON OVER TINY EUROPEAN TAX BILL AS ARCHBISHOP CRITICISES COMPANY’S TAXATION ‘GET AWAY’

New company accounts shows tax of just 0.02% on eye-watering revenue of almost €25 billion, says GMB Union

GMB, Britain’s general union, has slammed Amazon after this accounts revealed the company paid a tiny tax bill on its enormous revenue in Europe.

In 2017, the online giant paid €55 million in tax - just 0.02% of their enormous €25 billion revenue.

The figures emerge as Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby launched an attack on the taxation system that allows vast companies like Amazon to “get away with paying almost nothing in tax" in a speech to the TUC’s 150th Congress.

Accounts for Amazon EU Sarl – UK Branch, which is based in Luxembourg and through which most UK retail sales are routed, also show that:

· Headline profit for Amazon EU Sarl fell from €43m in 2016 to an apparent loss of €876m in 2017.

· Turnover rose from €21.6bn to €24.9bn.

· Internal debts (amounts owed by affiliated undertakings) rose from €311m to €2.3bn. [1]

Amazon was widely criticised in August after it was revealed that it paid just £4.6 million in tax on the activities of its main UK company – Amazon UK Services Limited – last year. [2] 

In August, when their UK accounts showed they paid just 6% tax – Amazon said the rest of their tax bill would be paid on their Europe-wide accounts.

A GMB investigation this summer revealed ambulances had been called out 600 times to the online retailer’s UK warehouses in the past three years. [3]

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:

“We already know from the awful working conditions in their warehouses that Amazon has precious little regard for their staff. 

“But these accounts show they think they can ride roughshod over every taxpayer in Europe despite their eye-watering revenues.

“The Archbishop’s speech today shows that the greed and selfishness of corporate giants who leach off the taxpayer, keep their staff permanently insecure and exercise no level of responsibility to the communities they operate in, is a matter for all of us. 

"In calling out companies like Amazon, and the entire broken system that ruthlessly pursues profit while working people rely on benefits and food banks the Archbishop put himself squarely on the side of working people, and alongside the trade union movement - calling for equality, fairness, decency and to give people hope

ENDS

Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

[1] Accounts published today [12 September 2018] for Amazon EU Sarl – UK Branch https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/FC032354/filing-history

Note - Amazon filed the accounts on Friday [07 September 2018] but they became publicly viewable today. 

[2] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45053528

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