Amazon paid £293m direct to UK taxman last year

Amazon has said that it handed £293 million directly to the UK taxman last year.

The online retail giant said it contributed £1.147 billion in total tax from its UK operations last year, although the majority of this was from indirect taxes.

Amazon said employer taxes such as national insurance contributions made up the biggest proportion of the £293 million it paid directly to the tax authorities.

It said business rates were the next largest part of its tax payment last year, followed by corporation tax and other taxes such as stamp duty land tax.

The direct tax payment represents a 33.2% increase after paying £220 million in direct taxes in 2018.

It said it also paid £854 million in taxes indirectly, with the majority of this coming from sales taxes after increasing sales revenues and taxes related to recruitment and wage increases.

The company’s corporation tax payment for the year was reduced as a result of increased capital spending and research and development expenditure, it said.

In 2019, Amazon invested more than £690 million in its infrastructure as it expanded its portfolio of distribution centres and opened its Manchester corporate office.

The group said it has now directly invested more than £23 billion into its UK operations since 2010.

Amazon continued the rapid expansion of its UK operation last year as annual revenues in the business increased by 26% to £13.73 billion.

It reported a pre-tax profit of £101.94 million for the year, according to the figures. It reported a £75.4 million pre-tax profit in 2018.

The company has accelerated its expansion efforts in the UK in 2020 after the coronavirus pandemic stoked demand.

Last week, it announced plans to hire another 7,000 staff this year to aid its growth strategy.

On Monday, the firm also announced John Boumphrey as the new boss of its UK operations, taking over from current country manager Doug Gurr in November.

Amazon, which is valued at around 1.6 trillion US dollars (£1.24 trillion), was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, a hedge fund executive.

Mr Bezos is the world’s richest person and worth a fortune of around 193.5 billion US dollars (£148.5 billion).

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