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In August 2018 it was reported on Channel 4 News that the pre-tax profits of Amazon UK Services Limited, the UK distribution side of the business, covering activities in more than a dozen giant warehouses across the country, increased from £24m in 2016 to £72m in 2017, but its tax bill fell from £7.4m to £4.6m.
Furthermore, payment had been deferred for much of the bill, meaning it would only have to pay £1.7m.
It had lowered its tax bill by paying employees in the form of shares, which is an expense it can offset against corporation tax. This is completely legal, and long-established government policy.

But Amazon UK Services Limited was only one part of the company’s activities in the UK. Amazon revealed in US filings that its total sales to the UK rose from £9.5bn to more than £11bn in 2017. The tax paid on all these UK sales was not publicly available information because sales made to customers in the UK were booked through the UK branch of a Luxembourg-based company, Amazon EU Sarl, according to the report.
The company therefore lost half a mark under Tax Conduct.


FactCheck: why does Amazon pay so little tax? – Channel 4 News (3 August 2018)