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Facebook paid just £28m tax after record £1.6bn revenues in UK

Guardian Technology 11 Oct 2019 01:53
Facebook’s latest UK accounts show that gross income from advertisers rose almost 30% last year Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Facebook’s UK operations paid £28m in corporation tax last year despite achieving a record £1.6bn in British sales.

The social media company’s latest UK accounts show that gross income from advertisers rose almost 30% last year to £1.65bn, and pretax profits surged by more than 50% from £63m to £97m.

Steve Hatch, the Facebook vice-president for Northern Europe, said: “Businesses across the country use our platforms to grow and revenue from customers supported by our UK teams is now recorded here so that any taxable profit is subject to UK corporation tax.”

But John McDonnell MP, Labour’s shadow chancellor, criticised the relatively small amount of corporation tax the US tech giant paid last year.

“How many more examples of large-scale tax avoidance does this government need before it will take action?,” he said. “It’s no wonder people are outraged at the grotesque unfairness of our tax system.”

“The UK is now one of Facebook’s most important hubs for global innovation,” said Hatch. “We continue to grow and invest heavily in the UK and by the end of the year we’ll employ 3,000 people here. These high-skilled jobs are not only working on products like WhatsApp and Workplace but also help develop technology to proactively detect and remove malicious content from our platforms.”

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