Eight tech companies in the UK avoided an estimated £1.5bn in 2019 – New Research

by | Jun 2, 2021

  • £45.4bn in revenues
  • £9.6bn in profits
  • £296m in tax paid
  • £1.5bn in tax avoided

Eight large tech companies in the UK made an estimated £9.6bn in profit from sales to UK customers in 2019, a new analysis by TaxWatch shows.

​But by moving money out of the UK, these companies ended up declaring a fraction of these profits in the accounts of their UK subsidiaries, radically reducing their tax liabilities.

​Amazon, eBay, Adobe, Google, Cisco, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple faced UK corporation tax liabilities of £297 million in 2019.

That puts the total amount of tax avoided by the companies in the UK at an estimated £1.5bn in 2019, the latest year where figures exist.

Large US-based technology companies have tens of millions of UK users and make billions in sales to UK customers. The UK is unarguably a significant source of corporate profits for these companies. But a glance at the accounts of their UK-based subsidiaries shows that little of this profit ends up in the UK.

As Finance Ministers seek to negotiate a new international settlement on how large multinational companies should be taxed, understanding the scale of tax avoidance by global digital giants is key to evaluating the outcomes of any deal.

​The latest figures are an update on TaxWatch’s 2018 study, Still Crazy After All These Years, which looked at the activities of Google, Cisco, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple, five of the largest technology companies in the world, over the period 2013-2017. Last year we updated these figures taking 2018 into account. This year three companies were added to our analysis, eBay, Adobe, and Amazon.

The full report is available here, and as a PDF here.

This report featured on ITV News, Channel 4 News, and in several newspapers.

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