Liberal Democrats

Taking on Big-Tech: They must pay their taxes

Changes to our global tax system are long overdue. The largest and most profitable global companies must pay their fair share in taxes, just like the rest of us.

By Christine Jardine, Sep 17, 2021 7:09

The world’s largest and most successful companies, including Google, Amazon and Facebook, are avoiding paying taxes in the countries where they operate. Instead, they shift their profits and hide in tax havens.

they shift their profits and hide in tax havens"

They must pay their fair share. And to do that, we need a global minimum corporation tax.

Amazon paid just £293m in tax in the UK last year, while its sales surged by 26% to £13.73bn.

This isn’t right.

At the G7 summit in June, major economies reached an international consensus on tackling tax avoidance. The Lib Dems are proud to support the breakthrough championed by President Biden for a global corporation tax rate.

Big business must pay their way. But the UK Government failed to push through some key improvements that would have made the system fairer and more effective.

Big business must pay their way"

To press the Government to improve the deal, our members at conference today voted for new policy:

  1. Backing President Biden’s proposal for a global minimum rate of corporation tax at 21%
  2. Closing loopholes which could allow tech-giants such as Amazon to avoid tax due to a 10% profit threshold.
  3. Keeping the Digital Service Tax until the deal is finalised. This is the tax on search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces. Withdrawing from this as the government plans could result in a combined tax cut of £232.5 million for Amazon, Facebook, Google and eBay.
  4. Work with low and middle-income countries to ensure the global corporation tax rate benefits them too.

Read our new policy in full

Tax dodging is entirely unacceptable. Internet-based multinationals such as Amazon are some of the most valuable and profitable companies in the world.

These corporations must pay their way.

Creating a fair global tax system calls for greater international cooperation. We must do more to listen to the concerns of low and middle-income countries. We must ensure the legislation we pass does not result in a tax cut for the world’s most profitable companies.

The Lib Dems are calling out the Government. We all pay taxes to contribute to our society. The time has come for big business to contribute too.

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