Amazon has published its economic impact in the UK for the last 12 months, including how much tax it’s paid.
It comes a week after the ecommerce giant announced 4000 new roles across the country, taking its permanent workforce to more than 75,000.
The top 3 regions of growth for Amazon have been identified as Yorkshire and Humber, the North East and the South East. These are across corporate and R&D functions, as well as software development, tech and at its fulfilment centres.
Tax and investment
Amazon has been under increasing pressure to improve transparency regarding its tax disclosures. Indeed before Joe Biden became US President he stated that Amazon “should start paying their taxes.” By then the company had already undergone an EU investigation.
Today it said that it had paid £2.77bn in UK taxes over the year and since 2010 it had also made direct investments over £43bn+ in infrastructure and job creation.
“As we continue to make investments in our UK operations and our growing workforce, we help fund public services and infrastructure throughout the country,” it stated.
“We do this through the taxes that are collected by the Exchequer as a consequence of our activities in the UK. Those taxes fall into two categories:
“Directly incurred taxes: the taxes that are directly incurred and payable by Amazon, including Employer National Insurance, Business Rates, Corporation Tax, Import Duties, Stamp Duty Land Tax and Digital Services Tax; and
“Indirect taxes collected: the taxes we collect and remit from our customers, employees, and other third parties because of our business activities in the UK. These include VAT and the taxes paid by our employees through PAYE.”
“This means that focusing on one aspect of taxation, such as Corporation Tax, doesn’t tell the whole story. This is one of the reasons why PwC produces a total tax contribution study for The 100 Group (an organisation which represents the Finance Directors of the UK’s largest companies, including many FTSE 100 firms). During 2020 we made a total tax contribution of £1.55 billion – £492 million in taxes borne and £1.06 billion in taxes collected. Based on analysis from PwC, when compared to the most recent PwC Total Tax Contribution survey of the 100 Group, Amazon ranks in the top 15 largest UK taxpayers for taxes borne and collected, as well as for the overall total tax contribution.
“Amazon would also rank third in terms of total capital investment in 2020. The 100 Group represents members of the FTSE 100 along with several large UK private companies, and the survey ranks companies in terms of their contribution to the UK government’s tax receipts.”
In 2021, the total revenues of Amazon’s activities in the UK were £23.19bn up from £20.63bn the year before.
Campaign group, Tax Justice Now said the group had not signed up to open tax standards used by other large firms, like Vodafone.