The UK office of Ebay, the e-commerce auction site, paid out an extra £7 million worth of owed corporate taxes in 2017, following the closure of a review that was conducted by the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
In accounts that were published last Wednesday, Ebay UK paid a total of £13.5 million in tax last year, £6 million of which was for last year alone, on profits that amounted to £20 million and £585.2 million in revenue. In 2016, Ebay paid only £1.6 million in corporate tax.
A spokesperson for the HMRC stated: “HMRC has a very strong track record on challenging contrived tax arrangements. We make sure that large businesses, just like everyone else, pay all the taxes due under UK law and we don’t settle for less.” However, he said that the company would not discuss regarding identifiable taxpayers,
A spokesperson for Ebay said that the company complies with all the relevant laws and rules of every country that it operates in, including the United Kingdom.
The news comes after the publication of accounts for fellow online tech giants Facebook, Paypal, and Airbnb which also all paid relatively small amounts of corporate tax last year.
Last week, it was revealed that the total UK tax bill of Airbnb came just shy of £600,000 for the year, while an examination by the HMRC into the business is still ongoing. Meanwhile, Facebook, tripled its UK tax bill to £15.8 million while Paypal was required to pay out an extra £2.7 million after a similar review by the HMRC.
It comes as the European Commission said that it would likely reach a deal with such firms by Christmas that would result in asking them to pay higher taxes in Europe starting 2019 Last February, the European Union proposed a three percent tax on global internet companies with annual revenues of £660 million or higher.
The international push for corporations to pay additional taxes is anticipated to create additional pressure on Philip Hammond, the British chancellor, who also laid out some proposals for a new technology tax during his speech at the Conservative party conference that was held earlier this month.
Hammond proposed a levy on digital services. He said that it would be necessary for the United Kingdom to “go it alone” in an attempt to “regenerate capitalism.”