Google and Amazon have not been paying their fair share of taxes in the UK; at least that’s what lawmakers in the United Kingdom believe, and it’s the reason for a recent investigation.
The investigation was launched by the UK’s “Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which is charged with monitoring government financial affairs, has invited the companies to give evidence amid mounting public and political concern about tax avoidance by big international companies.”
Reuters found that Google’s top UK unit paid just £3.4 million in taxes in 2011 despite reporting revenues of £2.5 billion. The agency also found that Amazon paid just 11 percent in taxes on foreign profits in 2011. According to the counsel, Amazon paid “less than half the average corporate income tax rate in its major markets.”
Margaret Hodge, a Labour party MP and chairman of PAC, said of Google and Amazon’s actions:
“It is hard for the ordinary person to believe it’s fair. It makes people incredibly angry in the current fiscal climate.”
The financial stability of Europe has loomed heavy on its citizens as Greece, Italy, and other regions continue to fight back against complete financial ruin. Throw in several American funded companies who are refusing to do their part to help the countries’ financial woes and it’s easy to see where the outrage sits.
Google and Amazon representatives have not yet commented on the low tax rates paid by both companies in 2011.