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UK government: Avoid ‘aggressive’ tax evader Amazon this Christmas

Published Dec 3rd, 2013 11:15PM EST
Amazon U.K. Gifts Christmas

Eight members of the U.K. parliament led by Margaret Hodge, head of the public accounts committee, joined an Ethical Consumer campaign to boycott Amazon, advising shoppers to avoid purchasing gifts from Amazon U.K. this Christmas, as the retailer is known for dodging taxes in the region. “Amazon is one of the global companies that aggressively avoids paying tax on the profits that they earn from the business they undertake in the UK,” Hodge said in an interview with Ethical Consumer. “Not only is this morally wrong but it disadvantages every business from the local community-based bookshop to bigger, British-based companies like John Lewis and therefore endangers British businesses and British jobs.”

Hodge, who had investigated Google earlier this year for similar tax-related purposes, added that she hasn’t used Amazon for a year, replacing the retailer with other online stores.

Amazon paid £2.4 million in UK taxes last year on sales amounting to $4.3 billion while receiving a £2.5 million grant from the government for expanding into Scotland. Amazon is registered as a company in Luxembourg, and therefore enjoys lower tax rates.

A spokesperson told Crave that “Amazon pays all applicable taxes in every jurisdiction that it operates within,” adding that the company has a single Luxembourg office from which it manages the “complex operation” of servicing the 28 countries of the European Union.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.