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Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, EBay All Pay Minimal UK Corporation Tax

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While the headlines are concentrating on the minimal amounts of UK tax paid by Facebook, the social networking monolith is far from alone in generating questionable tax figures.

Amazon, the UK's most popular shopping site, generated £3.2 million in UK profits last year yet managed to pay zero corporation tax as its European headquarters are registered in the tax haven of Luxembourg.

British business generated £2.53 billion in revenue for Google last year yet the company paid just £6 million in corporation tax.

Figures for 2010 show that Apple, the biggest company in the world, payed £10 million on £1.3 billion profit, whilst internet auction site, eBay, paid £3.4 million on £180 million profit.

It should be stressed that none of the methods used by these companies for avoiding corporation tax are illegal.

A spokesman for HMRC told the Huffington Post UK: ""We can't talk about named taxpayers for legal reasons, but it's important to remember that companies pay corporation tax in the country in which they carry on their business activity which generates profits.

"For online businesses, this might well not be the same country in which their customers actually live.

"So the UK corporation tax that a company has to pay depends on what business operations it carries on here, and not on the level of its sales to UK customers.

"We make sure that multinationals pay the right tax to the UK in accordance with UK tax law."

However, questions have been raised as to whether or not they should be paying their fair share of tax in the countries that generate their profits, especially at a time of austerity and cutbacks.

Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance told the Huffington Post UK: ""Too many companies can exploit the loopholes in the current tax system to minimise their bills, others do pay their fair share but the system is so complicated it is hard for the public to see that.

"Facebook's ability to pay it's corporation tax in another country is enshrined in EU law as part of the Common Market. Ireland’s low corporation tax rate is attracting globalised companies who are highly mobile, while our lumbering tax system simply cannot cope.

"If Britain wants to compete and ensure everyone pays their fair share then we urgently need to reform our taxes."

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