Amazon has defended its contribution to the UK financial system as 2020 accounts present its UK arm paid £18.3m in company tax as coronavirus disaster demand meant complete group revenues handed £20bn within the nation.
The web retail large mentioned it handed £492m on to the UK taxman final 12 months – up from £293m in 2019 – by way of Amazon UK Companies which gives warehousing and supply companies for the agency’s UK retail operations.
Amazon mentioned employer taxes – Nationwide Insurance coverage contributions – accounted for the majority of the rise because it employed extra workers to deal with surging retail gross sales because the COVID-19 pandemic hit, driving customers to on-line purchases as bodily shops had been closed by means of lockdowns.
The UK arm reported pre-tax earnings of £128m on revenues of £4.85bn for 2020 as a complete.
The division’s company tax invoice of £18.3m is an increase of £3.8m on 2019.
Amazon mentioned it mirrored a £1.6bn funding in its UK operations.
As a bunch, when retail gross sales are taken under consideration, Amazon delivered complete income of £20.6bn throughout 2020 – up from £13.7bn the earlier 12 months.
Whereas Amazon controversially reviews its UK retail gross sales by means of Luxembourg, the corporate mentioned UK retail gross sales, associated bills, earnings and taxes had been all recorded within the UK and paid on to HM Income & Customs.
Larger VAT from surging gross sales, Amazon mentioned, accounted for many of the £1.1bn contributed to the financial system from oblique taxation.
It argued that when direct taxes had been taken under consideration, its complete got here to £1.55bn.
Amazon and lots of different multinational companies have confronted claims of tax avoidance within the nations through which they function for a few years, although they’ve at all times insisted they pay what they’re required to pay.
Strikes to simplify the system at a world stage by means of a minimum corporate tax rate of 15% are geared toward ensuring that gross sales – and subsequently earnings – are booked within the nations the place they’re made.
Amazon mentioned it has a robust document of job creation within the UK – with 55,000 folks now straight employed by the corporate and more sought.
It additionally pointed to £32bn invested in its infrastructure since 2010.
The corporate mentioned: “We’re happy with the numerous financial contribution we’re making to the UK financial system.
“Trying forward, we all know that the UK stays filled with alternative and we proceed to be excited by the potential to proceed to speculate, create jobs, develop expertise and have a Positive affect in communities throughout the nation.”