Amazon’s UK business paid just £11.9m of tax last year, despite its Luxembourg unit raking in £5.3bn in sales from British shoppers.

  • Amazon paid just £11.9m in tax in UK in 2014
  • It has since opened taxable branches in its main European markets
  • Bosses have warned that future tax payments are unlikely to be big

Amazon’s UK sales rose 14% to £5.3bn in 2014, but its subsidiary recorded a profit of just £34.4m, according to results filed at Companies House. That meant it paid only £11.9m in tax.

The accounts claim that Limited does not sell goods online to British shoppers and state that its £679m turnover comes from providing “fulfilment and corporate support services” to the group’s arm in Luxembourg, a tax haven.

Amazon’s UK sales, which represent 9.4% of its global turnover, were taken through the Luxembourg arm, called Amazon EU Sarl. That company also took billions from other major European economies, including Germany and France. According to The Guardian, it was not subject to tax on any profits it made in those countries.  

The tax figures were revealed a month after Amazon opened taxable branches in its main European markets, including the UK. It means that HM Revenue & Customs will now be able to claim tax on all Amazon sales with British online shoppers.

That is likely to see Amazon’s UK tax bill rise, but the etailer has already warned that the payments are unlikely to be big because they are based on profits and not revenues.

The accounts for Limited reveal how quickly the business is expanding. Documents show that 7,722 staff worked in roles including procurement, software and within its warehouses, up from 5.912 in 2013.