Amazon has reportedly been accused of paying less UK corporation tax in the last two decades than some major retailers like Marks & Spencers (M&S), pay in a single year.
According to a new investigation conducted by the Daily Mirror, the online retailer has paid a total of £61.7m ($80.3m) in corporation tax over the last 20 years, despite generating £7bn (£9.1bn) in total revenue over that period.
Amazons payment of £61.7m ($80.3m) in UK corporation tax over the last two decades is relatively much smaller when stacked against other retailers within the UK. For instance, M&S paid £65.4m (£85.1m) in corporation tax in the last year alone, Tesco paid a whopping £176m ($229m), Dixons Carphone paid £42m (£54.6m), and John Lewis paid £43m ($55.9m).
The Mirrors investigation suggests that Amazon made a turnover of £6.76bn ($8.7bn) in the UK since 1998, but reported a profit of just £214m ($278m) in revenue.
The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell blamed the conservative party for allowing multinational companies, such as Amazon, to exploit communities, the Metro reported.
“With our high streets struggling to survive and public services on their knees, it’s sickening that companies are still getting away with what appears to be aggressive tax-dodging,” said McDonnell.“The Tories have continued to allow multinational companies to exploit our communities by refusing to pay their fair share, denying towns and cities the investment they desperately need.
“Labour will clamp down on tax avoidance and evasion, and implement our Tax Transparency and Enforcement Programme to build an economy that works for the many, not the few,” he added.
Digital tax reform
The Mirror investigation comes after the French finance minister said that the European Union will reach an agreement by March to implement a tax on tech firms. The EU digital tax had been defeated in its previous form after Ireland, Sweden, and Luxembourg voted against a new tax reform.
The European Tax was only proposed as an interim measure until a comprehensive reform has been implemented.
Frustrated by its delay, France decided to implement their own digital tax bill on January 1st, after the EU had failed to reach an agreement before Christmas last year. The UK government also said it would move ahead with plans to introduce a new tax bill targeting revenue generated by large tech firms.
The moves come amid accusations that governments are failing to take action against companies that pay minimal tax in Europe due to their use of accounting loopholes.
Despite these accusations, tech companies have long argued that they abide by the present tax rules.
In the past, British MPs have branded large tech companies like Google and Amazon as “immoral” for avoiding their tax obligations.