Brussels 'to hit Amazon with multimillion-Euro tax bill'

Brussels 'to hit Amazon with multimillion-Euro tax bill'

Online retail giant Amazon will reportedly be slapped with a tax bill worth several hundred million euros on Wednesday following a lengthy EU investigation into a sweetheart tax deal with Luxembourg.

The EU's competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager is expected to issue her decision following a near three-year investigation into whether Amazon's tax affairs complied with state aid rules, according to the Financial Times, which cited sources.

The probe, which was launched in October 2014, looked at a 2003 tax agreement between Luxembourg and the retailer that saw most of Amazon's European profits recorded in the country, but not fully taxed.

Both Amazon and the European Commission declined to comment.

It would be the latest EU regulatory decision to affect a major US firm, with Ms Vestager putting the tax affairs of a number of high-profile targets including Amazon under the microscope in recent years.

The EU Commission last year hit US tech giant Apple with a 13 billion euro (£11.5 billion) tax bill in the wake of an investigation which found that Apple paid 50 euro in tax for every one million of profit made outside the US in 2014.

The government and Apple are both appealing against the decision.

McDonald's is also facing fire from EU antitrust officials who are investigating claims that the fast food giant avoided more than one billion euro in tax through the use of a royalties loophole in Luxembourg.

When it launched its investigation in 2015, the European Commission said the European arm of McDonald's had paid virtually no corporation tax in Luxembourg or the US since 2009, despite making significant profits in the division.

McDonald's subsequently announced this past December that it was moving its non-US tax base to the UK, as it battled EU regulators over its tax affairs.

Back in Britain, Amazon made headlines earlier this summer after it was found to have paid 50% less UK corporation tax last year, despite a 54% jump in turnover.

Accounts filed by Amazon UK Services showed the company was billed £15.8 million in 2015 compared with £7.4m in 2016.

In the same period, turnover at Amazon UK Services broke the £1bn barrier for the first time, climbing from £946 million to £1.46 billion, while profit before tax fell from £48.5m to £24.2m.

More in this Section

Luke Kelly statue vandalised for seventh time in DublinLuke Kelly statue vandalised for seventh time in Dublin

Labour party calls for eviction ban legal advice to be publishedLabour party calls for eviction ban legal advice to be published

Public urged to contact GP with Covid-19 symptoms amid reports of delayed presentationPublic urged to contact GP with Covid-19 symptoms amid reports of delayed presentation

Galway plane crashed on way to hospice fundraiserGalway plane crashed on way to hospice fundraiser


Lifestyle

Conservationist Giles Clark takes on the illegal wildlife trade, as well as the task of building a bear sanctuary in Laos, South-east Asia, in BBC Two series Bears About The House.Five minutes with ... Giles Clark

Forget G-spots. Let's focus on the C-spot and close the orgasm gap once and for all.Sex File: The G-spot is dead. Long live the C-spot

Workshop leaders from the West Cork Literary Festival offer tips for writing in areas such as biography, short stories and travel, writes Des O’DriscollSo you want to be a writer?

'He told us we were so scared of dying, we forgot how to live” - Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment is this week's podcast pickPodcast Corner: Guru tells of sweat-lodge tragedy and James Arthur Ray

More From The Irish Examiner