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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet
Amazon Changes Structure to Affect Tax on UK Activities
01/06/2015, by Lee Sharpe, Tax News - Business Tax
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There are several articles in the press relating that the online retailer has announced that it has started to account for sales through the UK rather than its European centre of operations in Luxembourg.

While other press coverage refers to a new UK “subsidiary”, the Guardian recounts:

“Sales are still being recorded by Amazon EU Sarl, a Luxembourg-registered company, but – crucially for tax purposes – will be booked in a UK branch of that company, for which a tax return must be filed with HMRC.”

This would ring true for a Permanent Establishment of an overseas company.

While it is possible that the new Diverted Profits Tax may have had a part to play, Richard Murphy lists the following causes:

  • EU Investigations
  • The OECD’s BEPS Programme
  • The Tax Justice Movement
  • UK Uncut
  • Union Backed Campaigns
  • Margaret Hodge
  • Investigative Journalism

The outcome of the EU investigations may provide interesting reading. In the interim, Margaret Hodge has announced that she is to step down as chair of the Public Accounts Committee, a role which she has held for the last five years.. TW has in the past criticised the PAC for a lack of accuracy in its approach to tax issues, for instance when it gave HMRC a hard time in 2013. However, we also noted that the PAC appeared successfully to keep the public engaged, such as in “The Public Accounts Committee – the Clue’s in the Name...”. I expect Ms Hodge would call that a win, and I have no doubt she will prove a tough act to follow. 

About The Author

Lee is TaxationWeb's Articles & News Editor and writes for TaxationWeb. He is a Chartered Tax Adviser with experience of advising individuals and owner-managed businesses over a broad spectrum of tax matters.
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