Belfast Telegraph

Internet giant Amazon's UK move may prove to be taxing

By Roger Baird

Internet shopping giant Amazon said it has begun booking UK sales in this country, which may see it pay more taxes.

The firm, which employs 6,000 people in the UK, said it set up a formal UK branch on May 1, adding that it will now record sales in this country rather than through a unit in Luxembourg, as was previously the case.

Last year the UK arm of Amazon paid corporation tax of less than £10m, despite generating sales of £4.3bn, according to filings in Companies House.

In October the European Commission (EC) said it would launch a probe to see whether Amazon's tax affairs comply with state aid rules.

The EC said it would look at a 2003 tax agreement between Luxembourg and the retailer because it said most of Amazon's European profits are recorded in Luxembourg, but are not fully taxed in the state.

This investigation follows probes the EC has launched into the tax affairs of computer giant Apple, coffee chain Starbucks and the financial arm of car maker Fiat.

Belfast Telegraph

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