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Amazon has scooped hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash while failing to pay its “fair share” into the Treasury, a union claimed tonight.

The web giant was awarded government deals worth £438million over the past five years – including with Revenue and Customs, which is responsible for collecting taxes.

Deals valued at nearly £150m were awarded in 2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic when the company was raking in vast amounts of cash from people shut in their homes because of strict measures to curb the spread of disease.

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Some £200m of deals since 2017 were signed without a “full open tender process”, according to a GMB study unveiled at its annual conference in Harrogate, North Yorks, today..

National officer Mick Rix said: “Amazon are trousering a fortune in public cash while not paying their fair share of tax.

The union has been holding its annual conference in Harrogate, North Yorks ( In Pictures via Getty Images)

“During the height of the pandemic, when they were already making a mint due to lockdown, Amazon still scooped almost £150m in taxpayers’ cash.”

The firm has regularly been criticised for legally switching money between jurisdictions to minimise the amount it pays in tax.

Nine out of the 10 largest contracts won by Amazon in 2021/22 – including an HMRC deal worth £94m – were awarded via the G-Cloud framework, bypassing the need for “a full, open tender process,” the union said.

Its findings were based on figures compiled by Tussell, a data provider on UK public sector contracts and expenditure.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “All contracts are awarded following an open and fair process, and decisions are rigorously scrutinised.”

Amazon has long been accused of not paying its fair share of tax.

Last September, it reported paying £492m in tax the previous year – despite UK revenue soaring to £20.6billion in the pandemic.

Amazon has previously been accused of not paying its fair share ( REUTERS)

An Amazon spokesman said: “We are investing heavily in creating jobs and infrastructure across the UK – more than £32bn since 2010.

“The UK has now become one of Amazon’s largest global hubs for talent and last year we created 25,000 new jobs in the country, taking our total workforce to over 70,000.

“This continued investment helped contribute to a total tax contribution of £1.55bn during 2020 – £492m in direct taxes and £1.06bn in indirect taxes.”

He said that government departments using Amazon Web Services “are not only enjoying cost savings of up to 60% but are also supporting a vast ecosystem of smaller companies across the UK, that offer products and services that complement and help customers take full advantage of AWS”.

He added: “Public sector organisations in the UK use the UK branch of AWS Europe which registers its sales in the UK and pays all applicable taxes, due on its profits, directly to HMRC.

“Amazon recognises that its status as a supplier to the public sector is a privilege which has to continually be re-earned through the quality of our services and the value for money that we bring for UK taxpayers.

“We know they will only remain customers for as long as we are able to deliver on both of those things.”

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