Amazon Europe received a €241 million tax credit last year, despite growing efforts from European governments to force the retailer to pay more tax.
It will now be able to deduct this multi-million-euro sum from a future tax bill, after reporting a pre-tax loss of €493 million in 2018 in spite of its sales growing 11.6 per cent to €28 billion.
Amazon’s European operation is controversially headquartered in Luxembourg, where all its incomes from markets across the bloc are combined and taxed.
The European Commission is currently investigating Amazon over “illegal tax advantages” it enjoys in Luxembourg, pursuing the retailer for €250 million.
This follows a string of efforts by the EU to force the US ecommerce giant to pay more tax, including a recent three per cent tax imposed on big tech companies by France.
Earlier this year an investigation by the Daily Mirror revealed that Amazon had paid a total of £61.7 million in corporation tax in the UK over the past 20 years, despite making a total UK turnover of around £7 billion.
This compares to physical UK retailers like M&S, which paid £65.4 million corporation tax just last year, Tesco which paid £176 million, Dixons Carphone which paid £42 million and John Lewis which paid £43 million.
“Amazon pays all the taxes required in every country where we operate,” Amazon told the Guardian.
“Corporate tax is based on profits, not revenues, and our profits have remained low given our heavy investments and the fact that retail is a highly competitive, low-margin business.”