Frances Ball 4 Sep 2019 12:01pm

Amazon paid £220m tax on £10.9bn UK revenues

Amazon published details of its taxes yesterday, for the first time since beginning to trade in the UK 21 years ago

The company employs 27,500 people in the UK. Employer taxes made up the highest proportion of Amazon’s bill, followed by business rates and corporation tax, according to a report in the Times.

More than two thirds of its UK staff are employed by Amazon UK Services, the warehouse and logistics operation that accounts for more than a quarter of Amazon’s UK sales.

The division said that its corporation tax contribution had risen by £10m in the year to December 2018, up from £4.7m the year before, the report said.

Details of the majority of Amazon’s UK profits and tax payments go unpublished, because they are channelled through Amazon EU – which is based in Luxembourg and only reports Europe-wide figures.

This means that profits from its retail business, as well as those from warehouses and logistics, remain hidden.

Amazon has said that it paid £220m of direct taxes in the UK, but did not break the total figure down to reveal how much of its contribution came in corporation tax.

The company has been compared unfavourably to several other retailers, including the Fair Tax Mark company Lush, which made less than a third of Amazon UK Services’ profits but paid only £1m less in tax.

Amazon, based in Seattle, is valued at $883bn (£730bn). Founder Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world.