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Ebay to be investigated over tax avoidance in the UK

Following Amazon and Google
Mon Dec 03 2012, 10:08
EBay must pay 38.6m euros to LVMH over the sale of fake branded replicas

ONLINE AUCTION WEBSITE Ebay reportedly will be investigated over avoidance of UK taxes, following similar grilling of Amazon and Google.

Reuters reports that Ebay has avoided paying $1bn tax in the UK and Germany since it opened offices in Luxembourg and Switzerland. This year the firm paid just a little over £1m in tax, despite generating sales of almost £800m in this country.

It's unlikely that the company will get away with it though, as tax experts have called for an investigation into Ebay's tax practices.

"I hope that HMRC (UK tax authority Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) takes note ... and takes prompt action," said Margaret Hodge, member of parliament and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which monitors government finances.

"I will be seeking assurance that they are, next time we take evidence from HMRC," she added. Officials from HMRC are due to testify to the PAC in early December as part of the committee's investigation of tax matters.

Ebay told Reuters that HMRC is aware of all its tax arrangements and that it is confident that it met all its tax liabilities in the UK.

A spokesperson said, "In all countries and at all times, Ebay is fully compliant with national, EU and international tax rules (including the OECD) including the remittance." µ


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