Amazon is mak­ing prof­its from fraud, says Labour’s Flint

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Laura Hughes

AMAZON has been ac­cused of “prof­i­teer­ing” from fraud and putting UK firms “who play by the rules” out of busi­ness. MPs on the Com­mons Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee said the in­ter­net gi­ant was not do­ing enough to tackle over­seas traders who use their site and evade pay­ing VAT.

It comes af­ter a crack­down by HMRC on tax eva­sion by over­seas traders that sell goods in the UK via on­line mar­ket­places such as eBay, Amazon and oth­ers with­out pay­ing the 20pc tax.

HMRC es­ti­mates that on­line VAT fraud and er­ror cost be­tween £1bn and £1.5bn in lost tax rev­enue in 2015-16 alone, ac­cord­ing to the find­ings of a Na­tional Au­dit Of­fice (NAO) in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Dur­ing a ses­sion of the com­mit­tee yes­ter­day, Labour MP Caro­line Flint sug­gested Amazon had a “very em­bed­ded re­la­tion­ship” with their over­seas sellers and ac­cused the re­tailer of “mak­ing prof­its from fraud”.

Steve Dish­man, Amazon’s vice pres­i­dent for taxes, replied: “We would like all bad ac­tors off our plat­form.”

Joe Bil­lante, for eBay in Europe, said: “If we are no­ti­fied, we take ac­tion.”

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