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Amazon tax bill halved despite profits increase

Amazon’s UK corporation tax bill was £4.5m in 2017, its lowest bill in five years, despite tripling its pre-tax profits in the same year.

According to accounts filed on Companies House, the online retailer only paid £1.7m of that figure, after deferring £2.9m.

Amazon’s pre-tax profits in 2017 were recorded at £72m in 2017, with just 6% going to corporation tax. In 2016, the company’s pre-tax profits were £24m and it paid £7.4m in tax, 36% higher than its 2017 bill.

The company tax bill was lowered as it gave its full time warehouse employees shares as rewards. On average, each employee would have received roughly £3,000 in share rewards last year.

Amazon UK paid its 19,749 warehouse and logistics staff and management £635m in 2017, making the average salary £33,000 for each employee.

A spokesman for Amazon UK said: “We pay all taxes required in the UK and every country where we operate. Corporation tax is based on profits, not revenues, and our profits have remained low given retail is a highly competitive, low-margin business and our continued heavy investment.”

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