Facebook pays ‘£4.2m’ in UK tax after outcry


Facebook appears to have paid substantially more in UK corporation tax last year than the £4,327 it handed over in 2014, accounts show.

While it said incurred a £4.2m tax charge – the sum remained a fraction of the £210m in UK revenue reported by the social network.

Facebook also reported a tax credit, within the business, of £15.5m. It is unclear whether the figure, which relates to stock options for employees, meant that it effectively paid nothing.

It lodged the figures months after pledging it would stop routing most UK sales through to a profit base in Ireland where corporation tax is charged at a lower rate.

The voluntary shake-up of its tax affairs was seen as a response to widespread criticism of its 2014 corporate tax figure, which was less than the average UK worker would contribute through income tax and national insurance at the time.

Facebook is among a string of multinational firms criticised over the size of their UK tax bills.

Prime Minister Theresa May has indicated she wants more rigorous tax fairness when it comes to firms operating in the UK.

Facebook said in March that advertising revenue from its largest customers, initiated in Britain, would be taxed in the UK from 2016.

It was unclear how much more this was expected to raise for the taxman.

Responding to its 2015 accounts, a Facebook spokesman said: “We are proud that in 2015 we have continued to grow our business in the UK and created over 300 new high-skilled jobs.

“The UK is now home to some of the most innovative technologies in the world, including our investment in a high-tech solar-powered plane centre in Somerset that will help bring the internet to remote areas of the world.

“We pay all the taxes that we are required to under UK law.”

Ireland is set to appeal against an EU state aid ruling that Apple must pay it £11bn in back taxes.