It looks like Amazon are in trouble in France, with local tax authorities sending the US retail giant a bill for back taxes amounting to a tidy $252 million. This news follows previous news of the same manner, with Google and Starbucks hitting the headlines in British press for avoiding UK taxes through schemes and loopholes.
France is now clamping down on Amazon, with the 2006-2010 period under examination for missed tax payments to the French Tax Administration (FTA). The FTA has asked Amazon for payments of interest and penalties in relation to "the allocation of income between foreign jurisdictions". The retail giant intends to fight the FTA claim.
A lot of multinationals operating within Europe push their tax affairs through the lowest-rated countries within the Union, with Amazon and its European HQ in Luxembourg. Luxembourg offers very sweet tax breaks for companies based there, with Amazon EU Sarl, which would be on UK-based Amazon invoices, making $9.1 billion in revenue last year but only paid $8 million in tax in Luxembourg. Considering the retail giant pulled in a turn over of £3.3 billion in the UK last year, they paid no corporation tax in the UK, period.