Facebook under fire for ‘taxes’ in UK

Oct 11 2012, 16:17 IST
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Facebook has reportedly been accused of dodging taxes in the UK. (Reuters) Facebook has reportedly been accused of dodging taxes in the UK. (Reuters)
SummaryFacebook has reportedly been accused of dodging taxes in the UK.

Facebook has reportedly been accused of dodging taxes in the UK after tax experts said that the social networking giant reported lower sales figures than estimated.

According to experts the company had depressed sales figures, and the website's average UK employee earned more last year than the whole social media network paid the exchequer.

Facebook’s latest accounts filed at Companies House revealed that the British arm paid its 90 UK-based staff an average of 275,000 pounds each in 2011 while contributing just 195,890 pounds to the Treasury''s coffers.

The website also reported UK revenues of 20.4 million pounds, a fraction of the 175 million pounds that media analysts estimate the firm made in the UK in 2011.

Most of the sales are believed to have been booked in the firm''s international headquarters in Dublin, where they will attract lower corporation taxes, the paper said.

The paper quoted Richard Murphy, of Tax Research UK, as saying that ‘Britain is being taken for a ride.’

“Facebook is taking standard practice for these IT companies to a new high, or low, depending on how you look at it. The UK is giving the tax break and the Irish get benefit of all the tax on the sales,” he added.

Facebook is just one of a number of online giants that divert much of their UK profits.Earlier, Internet giant Google paid just six million pounds in UK corporation tax in 2011 on revenues of 395 million dollars.

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