Tech giant

Report: Amazon declared €9.7bn of its UK revenue in Lux

Amazon’s European headquarters are in Luxembourg  Photo: Frederic Legrand / Shutterstock

Amazon’s European headquarters are in Luxembourg  Photo: Frederic Legrand / Shutterstock

Amazon made £13.7bn (€16.2bn) in sales in the United Kingdom in 2019, but the tech giant reported 60% of those profits in Luxembourg, according to a report by British union Unite.

As much as £8.2bn (€9.7bn) of Amazon’s UK sales was actually attributed to its Luxembourg-based companies, the union’s report found.

It also said that the tech giant reported €57bn of its total revenue in Luxembourg. This would suggest that profit-shifting, not necessarily by illegal means, is taking place: if that number pertained only to sales really made in Luxembourg, then the average grand duchy resident would have had to spend €93,000 at Amazon that year.

A spokesperson from Jeff Bezos’s company called the estimate “wildly inaccurate”, adding: “Our UK retail and AWS revenues are recorded here in the UK and reported directly to HMRC. Our total tax contribution in the UK was £1.1bn during 2019.”

Unite called for a probe into Amazon’s tax bill. This isn’t the first time that the company’s tax regime has come under scrutiny.

The Court of Justice of the European Union in May sided with Amazon in an appeal against a European Commission decision that said a tax ruling issued by Luxembourg amounted to illegal state aid. 

The commission in 2017 had ordered Amazon to pay €250m in taxes to Luxembourg authorities, a decision contested by both the company and the country.

Amazon said the court's decision is "in line with our long-standing position that we followed all applicable laws and that Amazon received no special treatment. We’re pleased that the Court has made this clear, and we can continue to focus on delivering for our customers across Europe."