EU ministers to vote on move to expose firms' tax avoidance
The proposed rule is designed to shine a light on how large companies avoid paying an estimated $500bn a year in taxes around the world by shifting their profits from higher-tax countries such as the UK, France and Germany to zero-tax or low-tax jurisdictions such as Luxembourg, Ireland and Malta.
Richard Murphy, a professor of practice in international political economy at City, University of London, said he would expect Amazon’s UK business to pay at least £100m in corporation tax, assuming it made profits at a similar rate to the group as a whole. “There is clearly an underpayment to explain,” he said, calling the payment by Amazon UK Services “the square root of diddly-squat”.
Attempting to tackle multinational tax avoidance was a key plank of David Cameron’s and Theresa May’s Conservative administrations. Tax avoidance has not been a central part of Boris Johnson’s election campaign, while Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to “go after” tax avoiders.