Pure play e-tail giant Amazon is to be recalled by the Government to answer questions on its tax practices in the UK, it has emerged today.
After online giant Google was called back to the Public Account Committee yesterday to justify its low tax payments, Amazon has been asked to return and explain its own activities while clarifying both written evidence and witness statements given during its first session last November.
Yesterday, it was reported that Amazon had paid £2.4 million to the taxman amid profits of £4.3 billion in 2012 as it came to light that it had received more in Government grants over the year than it had paid in corporate taxes.
MP Margaret Hodge, Chairman of the Committee, told Reuters that she is calling on the HMRC to study the company’s affairs to ensure it is paying all the tax required of it.
Earlier today, the news agency revealed that it has seen company statements, job advertisements and statements from three suppliers and five ex-Amazon employees that imply that the UK arm of the business and its local managers have “a high degree of autonomy” over many aspects of the operation, meaning that the e-tailer is bound to pay UK corporate tax.
An Amazon spokesperson said yesterday: “Amazon pays all applicable taxes in every jurisdiction that it operates within.
“Like many companies, Amazon has received assistance in relation to major investments in the UK.”
However, Hodge explained that the business will need to attend a further hearing to answer questions over what Reuters’ investigation had found.
“We need to very urgently call back Amazon to question them around what you’ve uncovered; to look at that in relation to what they actually told us when they gave evidence to us and of course if they were economical with the truth or not totally honest in their evidence to us last time, that is a very serious thing,” she said