Outrage over Amazon’s tax is misplaced

20 May

Amazon, the internet retail giant, is facing fresh criticism from politicians over its tax affairs, after it was revealed that it paid less in UK corporation tax last year than it received in government grants.

But, in my opinion, the real outrage here is not that Amazon used perfectly legal practices to reduce its tax burden – which of course it has a fiduciary duty to its stakeholders to do – but that the British government propped up a hugely successful firm to the tune of £2.5m last year when small businesses, the life-blood of the economy, across the country are crying out for financial support.

Surely this misnomer should be the headline

It appears rather than looking at their own mess of policies which allowed a multinational, that’s experienced extraordinary growth in recent times, to receive grants running into millions, MPs would rather lambast the high-profile wealth and job creating company for minimising its tax liabilities by legally channelling its business through Luxembourg.

If MPs were serious about getting the country’s finances in order, shouldn’t they also be taking a long, hard look at their own practices?

And shouldn’t they get to grips with why firms are routing through lower tax jurisdictions and introduce a more competitive tax system to attract them to the UK instead

With companies currently contributing a quarter of the UK’s total tax revenue, creating a competitive and transparent tax system is the best way to secure sustainable economic prosperity.

Nigel Green deVere Group

Blog written 20th May



  1. Good blog, couldn’t agree more. Google and Amazon are big players playing by the rules, the government just needs to change the rules. Uk is one of the biggest users of online shopping the government holds all the cards, no need for them to beckon to these big firms.

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