Amazon UK corporation tax bill falls to £4.6m


Amazon worker.


A worker at Amazon’s fulfillment centre in Peterborough

Amazon had a £4.6m corporation tax bill in the UK last year, down from £7.4m in 2016, its accounts reveal.

And the figures for Amazon UK Services Limited show the online retail giant paid just £1.7m in tax, after deferring £2.9m.

Its UK operations made an operating profit of almost £80m, up from £48m in 2016.

An Amazon UK spokesman said it paid all the tax it was required to “in the UK and every country where we operate”.

“Corporation tax is based on profits, not revenues, and our profits have remained low given retail is a highly competitive, low-margin business and our continued heavy investment,” he told the Guardian.

Amazon UK Services is the division which runs the fulfilment centres which process, package and post deliveries to UK customers.

It employs more than two-thirds of the 27,000-strong UK workforce.

Turnover for Amazon in the UK jumped from £1.43bn to nearly £1.98bn as the Seattle-based giant attracted more customers to its online shopping and entertainment offerings.

Share-based payments for staff rose from just under £37m in 2016 to almost £55m last year – which contributed to the lower tax bill.

The figures come just days after Amazon internationally reported record quarterly profits of $2.53bn (£1.9bn) for the three months to 30 June.

The profit was about 12 times more than Jeff Bezos’s company made during the same period last year and reflected rising sales and demand for its cloud services.

Amazon reports its revenues from UK sales through a separate company based in Luxembourg.

The £1.98bn figure is a charge reported by Amazon Services UK to the parent company for the cost of making deliveries to customers.

According to its US filings, UK revenue rose almost a fifth to $11.3bn last year.