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The logo of Amazon Europe Holding Technologies is seen in Luxembourg in this November 20, 2012 file photo. Internet retailer Amazon.com Inc. will be called back to the British parliament to clarify how its activities in the U.K. justify its low corporate income tax bill, two lawmakers told Reuters. Over the past six years, Amazon has paid around $9 million in income tax on over $23 billion of sales to British clients, because it says it operates a single European business out of Luxembourg, rather than a multinational structure of independent subsidiaries in different countries, and should therefore pay tax in Luxembourg. Picture taken November 20, 2012.
The logo of Amazon Europe Holding Technologies is seen in Luxembourg in this November 20, 2012 file photo. Internet retailer Amazon.com Inc. will be called back to the British parliament to clarify how its activities in the U.K. justify its low corporate income tax bill, two lawmakers told Reuters. Over the past six years, Amazon has paid around $9 million in income tax on over $23 billion of sales to British clients, because it says it operates a single European business out of Luxembourg, rather than a multinational structure of independent subsidiaries in different countries, and should therefore pay tax in Luxembourg. Picture taken November 20, 2012.
(Francois Lenoir/Reuters)

CARL MORTISHED

No easy fix for Amazon, Google, Apple tax fracas

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If the U.K. Parliament’s public accounts committee achieves nothing else in its investigation of multinational tax affairs, it will at least have punctured the corporate ego of Google Inc., perhaps the world’s most pompous company. Margaret Hodge, the chairman of the committee, threw the Internet company’s moralising slogan “Don’t be evil” into the face of Google’s European sales boss, accusing the company of devious, calculated and unethical behaviour. “I think that you do do evil,” she pronounced last week.