Ahahahahaha

In June Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, said that the coronavirus crisis had made tech giants even “more powerful and more profitable” and that they needed “to pay their fair share of tax”.

However, The Times has learnt that Amazon, whose total British tax bill last year was £293 million on sales of £13.73 billion, will not have to pay the levy on goods it sells itself. Instead it will have to pay the 2 per cent charge only on revenues it receives from third-party sellers that pay to use its marketplace platform.

The tax is upon platforms. So as not to tax the online sales of, say, John Lewis. So, Amazon charges it on use of the platform and not in its sales.

11 thoughts on “Ahahahahaha”

  1. Its things like this which really does emphasis why planning an economy is doomed to failure – even if it was technically possible the government isn’t competent enough to do it right.

    Is Amazon just structured as a single ‘Amazon EU Sarl’ providing both the platform and the goods being sold? Or does it have multiple legal entities? E.g is there an Amazon the Booksellers which then buys/profit transfers use of the Amazon the website which in turn is built on top of service that it buys/profit transfers to Amazon Web Services?

  2. Jeez, how many times must one explain? THE PUNTER ALWAYS PAYS. It’s about as sure as gravity or supply and demand.

  3. So the tax is upon all those independent SMEs and ultimately their customers who use the Amazon platform rather than Amazon. So a barrier to entry into online selling in a small way but nothing to bother big business.

  4. @Rhoda

    ” THE PUNTER ALWAYS PAYS.”

    Not quite: some combination of the workers, the shareholders and the punter always has to pay. “Amazon” – even if it is “paying” the tax – isn’t actually ever paying the tax.

    So even if this tax is passed on to the sellers on the marketplace, it’s not even clear then who is going to pick it up. Could be higher prices (punter), could be lower margins (shareholder), could be lower wages (which could also be shareholders too for smaller outfits)

  5. Isn’t Amazon UK a logistics service for Amazon in Ireland and Luxembourg where tax on those sales and all the sales in the EU are paid?

    Amazon UK will then only owe tax for the service it’s sells to the others unless it actually handles some sales to market in the UK.

    And won’t Amazon’s ‘tax’ on platform use be rolled up into the price charged to end-user by the platform users?

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    he Times has learnt that Amazon, whose total British tax bill last year was £293 million on sales of £13.73 billion,

    I wonder how much tax the Times pays on its sales? I’ll bet if the FD was challenged he’s splutter something about taxes on profits, not sales.

  7. Can only speak in connection with two councils I recently worked for, but Amazon’s business rates payments are spot on. They don’t try and claim retail relief (they’re not entitled to it as their main business is not F2F, but I can name a few that have tried), or game the empty property relief system.
    And before someone says business rates are paid by the landlord, this relates to warehouse units Amazon have purchased.

  8. @the PD
    ” THE PUNTER ALWAYS PAYS.”

    Not quite: some combination of the workers, the shareholders and the punter always has to pay. “Amazon” – even if it is “paying” the tax – isn’t actually ever paying the tax.

    I think it’s far simpler to identify the important person in any transaction.* That’s the only person who’s got the money. The buyer. There’s no other money on the table. Everyone else is selling something to someone in a market. Labour, capital, whatever. But the money ultimately derives from that one source. There is no other. So THE PUNTER ALWAYS PAYS

    *The mechanics work out differently when what’s being supplied isn’t optional. The consumer is compelled to buy what’s being supplied. But the outcome’s identical.

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