eBay has paid just £1.2 million in tax in the UK an investigation has found.The Sunday Times newspaper said that its tax bill in 2010 comes despite eBay’s UK subsidiaries generating sales of £800 million.
The auction site – which also owns the PayPal payments system – responded that it “complies fully with all applicable tax laws”.
The report comes after coffee giant Starbucks was also accused of paying just £8.6 million in corporation tax in the UK over 14 years.
According to the Sunday Times, eBay had sales of £789 million during 2010 in the UK at its four British subsidiaries.
Using its worldwide profit margin of 23%, it would have made a profit in the UK of £181 million, leading to corporation tax owed of £51 million. Instead, it paid just £1.2m, the report said.
Accounts for one of its units, eBay (UK) Ltd, show that for 2010 – the last year available – it owed tax of £766,000 on profits of £4.4 million.
Other large online international companies have also been accused of avoiding tax in the UK.
Facebook UK paid £238,000 in tax last year, according to its accounts. Its sales were £20.4 million.
Most of the company’s income is believed to be legally going through its European base in Dublin, where corporation tax is lower than in the UK.
And a report in the Guardian in April said that online retailer Amazon had generated sales of more than £7.6 billion in the UK over the past three years but had not paid any corporation tax on the profits from those sales.