Saturday 1 October 2016

Facebook's UK arm paid just under €6,000 in corporation tax

Published 13/10/2015 | 02:30

Facebook says it takes tax obligations seriously
Facebook says it takes tax obligations seriously

Facebook's UK arm paid just £4,327 (€5,843) in company taxes, according to its latest published accounts.

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Accounts show that in 2014 the company made an accounting loss of £28.5m in Britain, after paying out more than £35m to its 362 staff in a share bonus scheme - worth an average of more than £96,000 for each member of staff. Facebook said it takes tax obligations seriously and worked closely with officials.

A spokesman said: "We are compliant with UK tax law and in fact all countries where we have employees and offices. We continue to grow our business activities in the UK."

Facebook's payment of £4,327 is less than a single UK worker on an average salary of £26,500, who would pay £3,180 in income tax and £2,213 in national insurance contributions.

Globally Facebook made profits of $2.9bn on revenue of $12.5bn in 2014. UK revenues were £105m.

The director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, John O'Connell, said: "Taxpayers will be justifiably confused and angry about this tax bill. But Facebook is right to say that it is complying with UK law which shows that the problem lies with our complex tax code, and that is what politicians should address as a matter of urgency.

"We have to ensure our taxes are simple to eliminate loopholes, and that taxes are low to increase our competitiveness so that companies choose to base themselves here."

Other global companies have come under fire for tax avoidance including Starbucks, Amazon, Google and Vodafone.

In April UK Chancellor George Osborne said firms that move their profits overseas to avoid tax will be subject to a "diverted profits tax".

The so-called "Google Tax" is designed to discourage large companies from diverting profits out of the UK to avoid tax.

Mr Osborne said in April: "Let the message go out - this country's tolerance for those who will not pay their fair share of taxes has come to an end."

Irish Independent

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