Ebay pays just £1.6mn in tax on £1bn sales in Britain

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Ebay paid just £1.6 million in UK corporation tax last year despite making £1 billion in sales, it has been revealed, raising fresh questions about how multinational corporations are able to structure their businesses to minimize tax bills.

Earlier this year, eBay reported to US investors that its UK business made revenues of £1 billion (US$1.3 billion) in 2016.

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But documents filed at Companies House show the firm’s main UK arm booked revenues of £200 million over the same period, according to the Financial Times. It made a profit of £7.7 million and paid £1.6 million of corporation tax.

With more than 14 million people trading on eBay.co.uk each month, that suggests a profit of 2.5p per person.

The division makes its money from advertising and marketing, while fees charged to users for website listings are instead booked through Luxembourg and Switzerland.

In the company’s US accounts, bosses said that deals struck with the authorities in these countries saved it £233 million last year.

Ebay told the Financial Times it was fully compliant with UK and international tax rules.

Speaking to the newspaper, UK tax barrister Jolyon Maugham hit out at the tax system, claiming it “only nods in passing to the activities taking place.”

“This is the same debate we have with Facebook, Google, Airbnb and Uber. To most people [these companies’ tax payments in Britain] are an outcome that feels counter-intuitive or grossly unfair,” he said.

“This illustrates how divorced our corporate tax system has become from the world in which it is supposed to operate.”

Labour MP Caroline Flint branded the figures “grossly unfair to UK-based businesses who pay their taxes and reject using profit-shifting or shell companies.”

The news comes as the European Commission this month announced it was taking Ireland to court for failing to collect £11 billion in back taxes from Apple.

Via RT. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.

  • hvaiallverden

    Hrumf, debating Tax this days is like f…. for vignity.

    This, is not an problem, the problem is why do we allow them to do that, eBay, another sausage stand with an Internet address, OK but not more than that, direct trade, I like that personally.
    But, again, its simple, pay to play, if not, like any other team, just change them out, cut the trade of completely, and to think that the world ends tomorrow if they are kicked out is just bullshit, because, here is the trick, the fact is that others, locals, can take the marked, because the marked is there, otherwise they wouldn’t have been there in the first place.

    Any financial institute is interested in getting something, for their investments, and like the hysterical babbling about Catalonia, and the Scots, tells me people are just drooling, no real debate, about anything real, what an Bank COD decides is to me utterly irrelevant, the marked They leave behind, others will have their shear of, and large banks have large bills, and in no way an better option compared to smaller units, not to large to fail, anyone, huh, and we all know about Austerity’s, the single most devastating eCONomic shit they have invented, this alone is so far out I am stunned the debate is non existing.

    God what an f… up world we live in.
    Yeah, give the Billionaires their tax releases, yeah, the world would end tomorrow if they have nothing to invest, huh, like the FeD whom is printing for their life’s this days, utterly bonkers.

    Yup, staring at Goats seems like an better idea, then try to explain the rape of our reality to morons, whom isnt educated in anything, other than stupidity’s and ignorance in an scale that make the future look bad, and I mean it, really, really bad.
    If we hanged them all tomorrow, nothing would change, other then we will be free, to trade and live as we want, thats the facts, they need us, we ARE the marked, we dont need them, they know it, you dont get it, yet.

    peace

  • Sink Chicken

    Why do governments feel that they are entitled to more tax money then companies and individuals are legally required to pay?
    The track record for government stewardship of taxpayer funds is abysmal. Hasn’t government bankrupted every country that ever existed at one time or another? Why give them access to a larger portion of hard earned income?