A Petition by Frances and Keith Smith Coventry, United Kingdom
"Stop Amazon’s tax dodge now. We pay our taxes and so should Amazon!
We run the Kenilworth and Warwick bookshops, independent shops which have been a proud part of our local high streets for many years. We are proud of the personal service we provide to all those who visit our store.
But times are tough and getting tougher.
We face unrelenting pressure from huge online retailers undercutting prices, in particular Amazon and it's pushing businesses like ours to the brink.
But what’s even worse is that Amazon, despite making sales of £3.3 BILLION in the UK last year, does not pay any UK corporation tax on the profits from those sales. In my book, that is not a level playing field and leaves independent retailers like us struggling to compete just because we do the right thing.
All Amazon UK book and toy sales are routed through its Luxembourg subsidiary. So when the British public buy goods from Amazon, they are in fact paying a Luxembourg company. This means Amazon can avoid paying British corporation tax on the profits it makes. Experts say if Amazon's total UK sales profits were not funnelled to Luxembourg, it could be paying as much as £100m a year in British corporation tax.
As Independent booksellers, we are happy with competition in the market but it must be on level terms and by dodging corporation tax in this way, Amazon start with an unfair advantage.
As they grow bigger it’s inevitable that shops like ours will be under even more pressure. That’s bad for customers, bad for the high street and bad for the UK.
Amazon may be obeying the letter of the law - but they’re certainly not being fair. Last year Starbucks announced that they had caved to public pressure and would look at their tax affairs in the UK. It’s time that Amazon did the same.
We pay our taxes and so should they -- please take a stand with us and tell Amazon to pay their fair share.
Until they do, please consider purchasing from local, independent shops instead".
PAC report December 2012:
BBC Nov 2012: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20288077