Amazon’s main UK division pays no corporation tax for second year in a row

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Amazon’s main UK part has paid nary corp taxation for the 2nd twelvemonth successful a enactment aft benefiting from taxation credits connected a chunk of its £1.6bn of concern successful infrastructure, including robotic instrumentality astatine its warehouses.

Amazon UK Services, which employs much than fractional of the group’s UK workers, received a taxation recognition of £7.7m successful the twelvemonth to the extremity of December, according to accounts filed astatine Companies House, beforehand details of which were shared by Amazon with the Guardian.

The government’s “super-deduction” scheme for businesses that put successful infrastructure was introduced by Rishi Sunak erstwhile helium was chancellor. It allowed companies to offset 130% of concern spending connected works and machinery against profits for 2 years from April 2021. Amazon booked a recognition of £1.13m successful 2021 nether the scheme.

It is understood that arsenic a result, Amazon’s main UK part paid nary corp taxation but different parts of the group’s UK concern did wage an undisclosed amount.

Pretax profits astatine the main part roseate astir 9% to astir £222m successful 2022 arsenic income roseate by astir 8% to £6.56bn.

Paul Monaghan, the main enforcement of the Fair Tax Foundation, criticised Amazon for failing to disclose its full profits successful the UK and the corp taxation paid connected that contempt calls for much transparency from taxation justness campaigners and shareholders.

He said: “Over the past decade, Amazon has grown its marketplace domination crossed the globe connected the backmost of income that is mostly untaxed – allowing it to unfairly undercut section businesses that instrumentality a much liable approach.

“We present person a concern wherever Amazon UK Services is not lone not paying tax, but is being handed taxation credits for concern that astir surely would person happened anyway. Tax credits for aged rope, if you will. These super-deductions person not lone wiped retired the corp complaint for the past 2 years but volition apt bash truthful again successful 2023 and perchance 2024.”

An Amazon spokesperson said: “Amazon UK Services is lone a tiny portion of our business, and erstwhile you look crossed each our UK companies we paid corp taxation past year. The simplification successful taxation for Amazon UK Services specifically is simply a effect of our important superior investments successful the UK.”

Amazon’s UK fulfilment centre successful  Peterborough
Amazon’s UK fulfilment centre successful Peterborough: the online retailer invested £1.6bn successful infrastucture successful 2022. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA

Details of Amazon’s taxation benefits emerged arsenic the online retailer and integer services supplier said that its worker numbers had stalled astatine 75,000 successful 2022, having astir tripled from astir 27,500 successful 2018 aft adding 10,000 caller roles a twelvemonth successful 2021 and 2020.

Amazon and different integer players person been making cuts arsenic spending online has shrunk since the tallness of the pandemic, aft precocious streets reopened and restrictions connected socialising and bureau moving eased.

In January the concern announced plans to shut 3 of its 30-plus UK warehouses and 7 tiny transportation sites, affecting much than 1,300 jobs. It closed the Book Depository online bookseller successful April arsenic portion of those efforts.

However, Amazon said it had invested £12bn successful the UK past year, spending £1.6bn connected infrastructure including much robotics for its warehouses and a bundle improvement centre successful Swansea for its Veeqo division, which provides online tools for sellers.

Sales crossed the group’s full UK web roseate £1bn implicit the year, much than 4%, to £24bn past year, making it bigger than Asda, the UK’s third-largest supermarket, and astir doubly the size of Marks & Spencer, according to group’s US filings.

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Amazon said it paid £781m successful full taxes successful the UK, including concern rates, employer’s nationalist security contributions and corp tax, up from £648m a twelvemonth before.

The UK taxation recognition astatine Amazon UK Services was portion of €937m (£805m) of taxation credits crossed Europe past year, according to accounts for the group’s Luxembourg-based retail part published successful March, aft conscionable implicit €1bn of benefits the twelvemonth before.

The credits came aft Amazon EU Sarl – an entity that includes the group’s UK, German, Spanish, Italian and different EU retail interests – much than doubled losses to €4.3bn, from €2.1bn a twelvemonth before, arsenic income slipped backmost to €50.9bn from €51.3bn a twelvemonth before.

Monaghan said income was being “shunted to Luxembourg” wherever the subsidiary was “generating tremendous taxation reliefs twelvemonth aft twelvemonth that volition beryllium utilized successful the aboriginal to guarantee that small oregon nary taxation continues to beryllium paid determination either.”

However, Amazon said that revenues, profits and taxes for the bulk of its UK concern were recorded and paid successful the UK.

“Our retail and AWS [Amazon Web Services] revenues – the bulk of our concern – are portion of Amazon EU Sarl and AWS EMEA Sarl, some of which person a UK branch. Our UK revenues, associated expenses, profits and taxes are recorded present successful the UK and reported straight to HMRC,” the institution said successful a statement.

Amazon has antecedently said it pays hundreds of millions of euros successful corp taxation crossed Europe.

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