Amazon's auditors tell MPs firm's tax policy 'entirely legal' UK corporation tax
Amazon's ability to avoid paying corporation tax on its £3 billion (€3.5 billion) revenue in the United Kingdom is entirely legal, the company's auditors have told MPs, who accused some of the world's biggest accounting firms of orchestrating multi-billion avoidance.
"A warehouse is not a permanent establishment, an internet-based business where the servers are based outside the UK is not a UK establishment," John Dixon, head of tax for Ernst and Young told MPs.
MPs were infuriated by Deloitte's UK head of tax, Bill Dodwell's admission that his firm recommend schemes to clients if there is a 50 per cent, or greater chance of approval by HM Revenue and Customs.
Decisions subsequently on their legality from tax tribunals are civil, rather than criminal matters, he told the Public Accounts Committee:
"It is not an offence at all to have a difference of interpretation of what the law means," Mr Dowdell said.
KPMG's UK head of tax, Jane McCormick, said her firm's principles were updated last month guaranteeing the company would not, in the words of one MP, "do things to gain advantage that were not intended by parliament".