22 Oct 2012

eBay tax payment minimised

2:45 pm on 22 October 2012

Online auction site eBay reportedly avoided paying nearly £50 million in corporation tax in Britain through legal accounting schemes.

According to an investigation by The Sunday Times, the group had annual sales of nearly £800 million and a profit of about £181 million in Britain in 2010.

The paper says this would have produced a corporation tax bill of £51 million. But the group is believed to have paid £1.2 million in tax that year.

Payments were channelled through Luxembourg and Switzerland under legal tax-avoidance schemes.

The group is the latest to have its tax payments come under scrutiny after Starbucks reportedly paid £8.6 million in corporation tax in 14 years of trading in Britain, and nothing in the past three years, PA reports.

The American coffee retailer is understood to have generated more than £3 billion of sales in Britain since 1998, but has paid less than 1% in corporation tax.

Facebook and Google have also been criticised over poor contributions to HM Revenue & Customs.

It was revealed earlier this month that Facebook paid only £238,000 in tax in Britain despite revenues of £175 million. Google reportedly paid £6 million in tax despite revenues of £2.6 billion.