Amazon paid just £6.3 million in corporation tax in the UK last year, despite raking in more than £13 billion in sales.
The online retail giant has sparked yet more tax controversy today after it was revealed that only a fraction of the £293 million it paid in UK tax last year was corporation tax.
Last week Amazon announced that it had paid 33.2 per cent more tax in the UK throughout 2019 compared to a year earlier.
However figures released today showed that just £6.3 million of the total £293 million it paid was corporation tax, while the rest was made up of national insurance payments, business rates, property tax, importation taxes and stamp duty on land purchases.
Corporation tax is based on a company’s profits, which Amazon does not reveal.
It did however state that this strikingly low figure was because its “profits have remained low given retail is a highly-competitive, low margin business and we continue to invest heavily.”
Amazon UK Services, its main UK arm which employs 25,000 people, is also understood to have saved £17 million in taxes last year thanks to the UK’s generous policy on share awards to staff.
Despite coming under continuous criticism from politicians and public figures alike, Amazon maintains it pays the legal amount of corporation tax in the UK, which is based on profits as opposed to turnover.
Last year an investigation by the Daily Mirror revealed that Amazon had paid a total of £61.7 million in corporation tax 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 in 2018, Tesco which paid £176 million, Dixons Carphone which paid £42 million and John Lewis which paid £43 million.