Margaret Hodge urges Amazon to pay a ‘fair tax’

Margaret Hodge, the chairperson of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, has urged online retailer Amazon to pay a "fair tax" on the business they operate in the UK.

Many British lawmakers have repeatedly accused Amazon and some other companies of avoiding tax payments to the Treasury. Amazon paid only £9.7 million in corporation tax to the British Treasury in 2013, even as its revenues jumped 13 per cent year-on-year to a record £4.7 billion.

The British arm of Amazon reported sales of just £449 million from its British business. But, the online retailer's US-based parent firm claimed in a stock market filing that it generated sales of £4.7 billion from the UK. Most of those sales were processed offshore in Luxembourg in order to avoid tax.

Condemning Amazon over tax avoidance, Hodge said, "To their customer base, they pretend to be British, yet they refuse to pay their tax. All we ask is that they pay a fair tax on their business in the UK."

But Amazon, the world's most popular online retailer, argued that it always paid all applicable taxes in every jurisdiction in which it operates.

Amazon shares recently gained 1.36 per cent to $292.24 apiece. Since the start of 2014, the stock has lost 26.7 per cent of its market value.