Amazon UK was launched 14 years ago. It operates from a large warehouse in Swindon and has developed into UK’s leading retail website with growth in numerous consumer sectors including books, music etc.
In 2006, to minimise it’s tax liability, it created a European HQ in Luxemburg. It seems that all sales to customers in the UK, are registered in Luxemberg. As a result, it is liable to the comparatively much lower Luxemberg tax although the goods are despatched from Swindon.
The net effect of this, according to a recent report in the Guardian, is that although Amazon has achieved record sales revenues and profits since, it has paid very little corporation tax.
For example, the campaigning group Tax Justice Network estimates that Amazon probably had taxable profits of atleast £125M. Normally, this would have attracted UK corporation tax of £35M instead of the £1.9M it actually paid. They have therefore avided a substantial tax bill in the UK as a result of the tax structure they have chosen to use.
Whilst no one wants to decry success of companies like Amazon, they must operate with social responsibility. Paying fair tax where it generates profits is one such responsibilty.
The aim of this petition is firstly to appeal to Amazon to immediately agree to change it’s tax avoidance measures. If it does not agree to that, we ought to encourage a consumer boycott of Amazon and instead buy from other independent suppliers.
If successful, such campaigns can be repeated in other countries and against other companies that adopt plans to deliberately avoid paying fair tax.