EBay 'pays £1.2m in UK tax' on sales of £800m

ebay logo The auction site says that it complies with UK tax laws

Related Stories

US auction site eBay has paid only £1.2m in tax in the UK, according to an investigation by the Sunday Times.

The newspaper said that its tax bill in 2010 comes despite eBay's UK subsidiaries generating sales of £800m.

The auction site - which also owns PayPal - responded that it "complies fully with all applicable tax laws".

The report comes after coffee giant Starbucks was also accused of paying just £8.6m in corporation tax in the UK over 14 years.

According to the Sunday Times, eBay had sales of £789m during 2010 in the UK at its four British subsidiaries. Using its worldwide profit margin of 23%, it would have made a profit in the UK of £181m, leading to corporation tax owed of £51m.

Instead, it paid £1.2m, the report said.

Accounts for one of its units, eBay (UK) Ltd, show that for 2010 - the last year available - it owed tax of £766,000 on profits of £4.4m.

The auction site told the BBC: "eBay in Europe works with tax authorities and complies fully with all applicable tax laws and regimes - including national, EU, and internationally recognised OECD rules."

Other large international companies have also been accused of avoiding tax in the UK.

A four-month investigation by news agency Reuters earlier this week found that Starbucks generated £398m in UK sales last year but paid no corporation tax.

It said that Starbucks had made over £3bn in UK sales since 1998 but had paid less than 1% in corporation tax.

Facebook UK paid £238,000 in tax last year, according to its accounts. Its sales were £20.4m. Most of the company's income is believed to be legally going through its European base in Dublin, where corporation tax is lower than in the UK.

And a report in the Guardian in April said that online retailer Amazon had generated sales of more than £7.6bn in the UK over the past three years but had not paid any corporation tax on the profits from those sales.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Features

  • Car exhaustBrain change

    Did removing lead from petrol spark a decline in crime?


  • Catch-22What's the catch?

    The story of Joseph Heller's 'forgotten' Catch-22 theatre script


  • Kevin SPaceyPrime time

    The battle for exclusive online TV shows


  • Amazon logoAmazonian mix

    Two cultures collide at the online retail giant


  • Man in deckchairBank holidays

    Small Data asks if the UK gets enough public holidays


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.