Facebook’s UK operations paid only £4,327 in taxes last year, less than that paid by the average person in the country. A single person on the average wage of £26,500 would pay £3,180 in income tax and £2,213 in national insurance payments.
The small bill was despite the company being able to pay its 362 UK-based employees an average of £210,000 in pay and bonuses. It gave its London staff Facebook shares worth £35.4 million, according to the report, pushing its losses to £28.5 million and so hugely reducing its tax bill. Many of its other profits from the UK are sent to its international headquarters in Ireland, which then puts them in the low-tax Cayman Islands, reports the SundayTimes.
Facebook’s tax bill is up from last year – when it paid no corporation tax at all, for the second year running.
Facebook Inc, the parent company of the UK operations, reported at the beginning of the year that it had revenues of $12.5 billion in 2014, up 58 per cent from the year before. That translated into profits of $2.94 billion.