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Amazon UK directors step down ahead of tax clampdown

Amazon’s managing director and finance director for the UK have stepped down from the board ahead of a clampdown which will see the etailer start paying tax in Britain rather than Luxembourg.

Managing director Christopher North and Rob McWilliam, who joined from Asda as finance director two years ago, resigned from the board earlier this month but remain within the business.

Amazon is one of a number of big online businesses that has been accused of avoiding UK tax by routing its sales through an overseas company.

The tax changes, included in the Budget in March, will enable HM Revenue and Customs to claim taxes on sales the online retail giant makes in the UK. However, Amazon has pre-empted the scrutiny by already making the change, and warned that the tax payments are unlikely to be big.

A spokewoman for Amazon said: “We regularly review our business structure to ensure that we are able to best serve our customers and provide additional product and services. More than two years ago we began the process of establishing local country branches of Amazon EU Sarl, our primary retail operating company in Europe.  The local country branch for the UK became official on May 1 and Amazon EU Sarl is now recording retail sales made to customers in the UK through the UK branch.  Previously, these sales were recorded in Luxembourg. Christopher North is the head of this branch the UK.”

@jillgeoghegan

Readers' comments (1)

  • Will they retrospectively pay the taxes owed?

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