Multinational Tax and Free Money for Multinationals

I was not astonished to learn that Amazon had only paid £2.4 million in corporation tax notwithstanding having effected sales to UK residents of more than £4.3 billion last year. That is the way of multinational corporations like Amazon, who, rather like the banks, occasionally show us their hideous face of globalisation by their unacceptable actions. The big multinationals plan their affairs between different tax jurisdictions and wherever possible arrange their business so as to pay the least amount of tax. This is apparently legal, although I doubt if any tax jurisdiction has actually properly tested the planning to see whether it involves any tricks and deceptions and fictions so beloved of tax planners. Such investigation would take huge resources and I doubt whether HM Revenue and Customs have such resources.

What did astonish me was to learn that Amazon had received a government grant from the UK for £2.5 million. I really fail to understand why governments should provide grants of any description to multinational corporations. There are better ways to waste tax payers’ money that giving some of it to Amazon.

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