updated 04:43 pm EST, Wed November 28, 2012
Continued requests to keep details confidential ignored by government
More details about Amazon's UK tax affairs have been released to the public by the British government, despite requests for secrecy. The ongoing Parliament's Public Accounts Select Committee released details supplied by the retailer relating to taxes, with the provided evidence showing that a total of £1.8 million ($2.9 million) in corporation tax was paid in 2011.
While revenues from its various UK-based activities, including Lovefilm, amassed £3.35 billion ($5.4 billion) for the year, pre-tax profits were claimed to be just £74 million ($118 million). Despite the hefty amounts, this still represents what was earned by the Luxembourg-based entity, and bears no relation to the Amazon.co.uk Ltd subsidiary. According to The Register, the £1.8 million corporation tax was issued by this UK-specific business, which manages the numerous warehouses, fulfillment facilities and staff, and still works out to be only 2.4 percent of UK pre-tax profits. The UK Corporate tax rate for the year 2011 was set at 26 percent.
The release of business figures to the public despite requests from the company mirrors that of recent VAT figures supplied by Amazon to the same committee. In both instances, the data was requested to be kept "confidential" and was not intended to be made public.