2020 was a prosperous year for e-commerce and for its most prominent exponent: Amazon. Jeff Bezos’ company has its European headquarters in Luxembourg. This company, called Amazon EU Sarl, manages sales for France, the UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden. Last year, a record turnover of 44 billion euros was achieved. However, the Luxembourg entity has not paid any corporation tax.
“These big digital companies rely on our public services and our well-trained workforce.”
To explain this surprising information, The Guardian explains that the Grand Duchy-based subsidiary suffered a loss of € 1.2 billion last year and was therefore non-taxable. Even on future profits, the company benefits from tax credits that allow it to lower the bill.
In times of crisis, this news outraged our neighbors. This is especially true of Labor MP Margaret Hodge, who specializes in tax avoidance issues. She explains :
These large digital companies all depend on our utilities, infrastructure, and a healthy, well-trained workforce. But unlike small businesses and taxpayers, tech giants don’t pay the common good fairly.
Amazon also responded to this information. Jeff Bezos’ firm says it “pays all taxes required in every country we operate in. Corporate tax is based on profits, not income, and our profits have remained low given our heavy investments and the fact that retailing is a highly competitive, low-margin business. “”
The company also recalls that it has invested € 78 billion in the old continent since 2010, particularly “in infrastructures that create thousands of new jobs, generate significant local tax revenues and support European small businesses. “”
This issue is definitely being taken very seriously by the new administration of Joe Biden, who is pushing for a global agreement on a minimum tax rate for large companies. Recently, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen advocated a tax that “would allow us to collect a fair share of businesses while maintaining the competitiveness of our businesses and incentivizing (…) offshore activities reduce that we operate certainly does not want to reward ”.