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France wants back taxes from Amazon

Bookseller billed for $250m
Tue Nov 13 2012, 14:37
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ONLINE BOOKSELLER Amazon is in trouble in France and could have to pay it $250m in back taxes.

Reuters reports that the French tax authority is eyeing up the taxes paid by the firm and Amazon is looking to fight it.

This week the firm was in the UK Parliament talking about how it wags the UK tax system. Amazon's director of public policy Andrew Cecil told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that "Amazon.co.uk is the trading name for a company operating in Luxembourg" and that is how it manages to avoid paying 20 percent tax in the UK.

"We're operating as a pan European business, so somebody working in a warehouse in the UK will also be shipping products bought off of our French website, for example," he said.

He wasn't getting away with that though, and the chair of the committee suggested that practices like this were harming other businesses. "The community based bookshop that you're putting out of business also pays these rates," she said. "You're making it uncompetitive."

The French taxes revelation came out of the same meeting, notes Reuters, and Amazon said that it is waiting for a final bill before deciding what to do.

We have asked Amazon to comment on the French tax bill this morning. Yesterday during the PAC session the firm was reluctant to go into details about tax investigations in other countries and repeatedly expressed its desire to withhold comment during questioning. µ

 

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