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Reaction: Multinationals like Amazon exploit flaws in tax laws to avoid paying fair share

Posted by Melanie Kramers Senior Press Officer

10th Aug 2017

Amazon is today reported to have halved its UK corporation tax bill despite revenue increasing. Commenting on reports about Amazon's tax practices Oxfam's head of inequality, Ana Arendar, said:

"Multinational companies like Amazon are able to exploit flaws in global tax laws and use tax havens to avoid paying their fair share. 

"Despite some action by ministers and companies, widespread corporate tax avoidance continues to cost both rich and poor countries billions every year that could pay for schools and lifesaving healthcare.

"We urgently need comprehensive public country by country reporting for multinationals to ensure they pay their fair share of tax - the UK Government should implement this by the end of 2019 - unilaterally if necessary."

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Notes to editors

Last month Oxfam's report Making Tax Vanish suggested that British multinational RB dodged £200m globally over three years by creating regional hubs in three corporate tax havens. It found that 'developing markets' - mostly countries with large numbers of people living in poverty - may have lost as much as £60m in revenue as a result of RB's tax practices. Oxfam's investigation did not find any illegal activity. RB has backed a public campaign for tougher tax laws.

The UN estimates that tax dodging by big companies costs developing countries at least $100bn (approx. £78bn) every year - enough to educate the 124 million children around the world who can't currently go to school, and provide healthcare that could save the lives of six million children annually.

Blog post written by Melanie Kramers

Senior Press Officer

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