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It is that time of the year again when Amazon's bean counters put into words a tale of intrigue and daring: the latest set Profit & Loss accounts for the UK Services subsidary. Spoiler: tax remains an issue.
The etail-****-cloud giant has filed a 15.6 per cent hike in revenue for calendar 2018 to £2.3bn - the numbers are available at UK biz repositry Companies House, here.
Profits - Tax - £75 - £72 - Margins
Profits before tax climbed too, reaching £75.4m, up from £72.4m for 2017. It would seem that while graphene-thin margins might be hurting the UK high street, Amazon is still able to keep head honcho Jeff Bezos in rockets and cargo pants.
The average headcount for UK employees recorded by Amazon UK Services numbered 22,073 in 2018, up from 19,749 the previous year.
Paltry - £1 - Tax - Revenue - UK
Having trousered a paltry £1.7m in tax revenue for 2017, the UK's tax collector, HMRC, would have been forgiven for expecting a little more cash from that increase in profits.
We can almost hear the chortling of Amazon's accountants from our glass cages in Vulture Central as this year's figures revealed that the company has actually managed to pay less tax on those profits – down to £1m for 2018.
Course - Story - Amazon - UK - Tax
Of course, there is more to the story: Amazon UK noted the tax bill for 2018 was actually a hair under £14m, but was able to drop £13m of that into a bucket marked "deferred tax". It did the same trick last year, tossing £3m into the same bucket.
Deferred tax, according to the policies in Amazon's statement, "arises from timing differences that are differences between taxable profits and total comprehensive income as stated in the financial statements".
Not that it seemingly matters,...
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Aim and timing is evereything.