Independent bookshop owners say Amazon’s tax avoidance undermines local businesses

Amazon tax petition handed to Downing Street

A petition singed by more than 160,000 people was handed in to Number 10 today.

Independent bookshop owners Frances and Kevin Smith hope the petition will force Amazon to reconsider its UK tax position, like Starbucks did in December.

The bookshop owners believe Amazon’s tax avoidance undermines local business who pay their fair share of UK tax.

"Independent shops are closing around us, I think it was six or seven independent bookshops have closed this year or are due to close, which is a massive number when there are only about 1,000 left. That is very worrying because bookshops are a cultural thing, they are where children learn about the love of books," said Frances Smith.

Last year a report by the Public Accounts Committee accused Amazon of minimising UK tax bills.

A spokesman for Amazon said: "Amazon pays all applicable taxes in every jurisdiction that it operates within. Amazon EU serves tens of millions of customers and sellers throughout Europe from multiple consumer websites in a number of languages dispatching products to all 27 countries in the EU. We have a single European headquarters in Luxembourg with hundreds of employees to manage this complex operation."

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