One of online giant Amazon’s biggest UK businesses paid no corporation tax last year – despite revenues rocketing to £193 a second.
Amazon UK Services, which includes the firm’s network of warehouses, used former Chancellor and now Tory leadership hopeful Rishi Sunak’s “super deduction” to wipe out its entire tax bill.
Amazon took advantage of the tax break through opening four new vast “fulfilment centres”.
But Alex Cobham, of campaign group Tax Justice Network, said: “Amazon doesn’t need any incentive to invest here, so it is clearly a bad policy.”
Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge said: “It was always going to help the Amazons of this world because it helps those who were already going to invest.
“It is simply ripping off taxpayers.”
The “super deduction” tax perk was announced by Mr Sunak is his Spring Budget last year. It offers firms 130% tax relief on qualifying plant and machinery. Mr Sunak said at the time: “This is the biggest two-year business tax cut in modern British history.”
Accounts to be filed at Companies House will show revenues at Amazon UK Services Limited surged by more than £1billion last year – from £4.85bn to nearly £6.1bn. Profits rocketed 59% to £204million. It paid zero corporation tax last year compared with £18.3m in 2020.
Amazon said: “The Government uses the taxation system to actively encourage companies to make investments in infrastructure and job creation. We invested more than £11.4bn in the UK, creating more than 25,000 jobs.”
It came as Amazon – whose founder Jeff Bezos is the world’s second richest person, worth £115bn – refused to reveal full details about its UK tax affairs.
The near £6.1billion is revenues at Amazon UK Services was just a small chunk of the almost £23.2bn the US goliath raked in here last year. Yet the accounts for two other major parts of its empire here – its shopping website and huge Amazon Web Services computing arm – are not made public.
Across all approximately 20 UK entites Amazon has, it says it paid £648million in “directly incurred taxes” – including employer National Insurance, corporation tax, business rates, and the Digital Services Tax.
The indirect taxes – including VAT – more than doubled to £2.13billion.