Is corporation tax easy for big businesses to avoid?

The latest case of concern with respect to corporation tax avoidance is the online retailer Amazon. This accusation is mainly based on the fact that since 2006, its UK business has been a subsidiary of its European headquarters in Luxembourg. As a result, anyone buying anything from Amazon in the UK makes a payment to the retailer in Luxembourg, with the profits taxed there rather than here.

That is despite the fact that Amazon employs hundreds of staff in the UK, at several large depots, selling tens of millions of items each year to millions of UK customers. According to the Tax Justice Network the government had turned a blind eye to this corporation tax issue and was even encouraging it. However, HMRC disagrees saying that it has long had a specialist unit of 1,200 tax inspectors dealing just with the affairs of the 770 biggest companies.


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