UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated he told Amazon founder Jeff Bezos that the e-commerce behemoth should pay its fair share in taxes.
Johnson met with Bezos and his gal pal Lauren Sanchez on Monday in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations general assembly, which kicked off Tuesday.
“What I did say to him was that we in the UK feel very strongly that the internet giants need to be making their fair share of contribution in tax,” Johnson told ITN on Tuesday of the assembly.
“When you sell many many billions worth of goods in the UK then you’ve got to expect to be taxed fairly in the UK,” he added.
“We need a digital sales tax, a proper way of making sure that we’re fairly taxing these enormous global businesses — just as we tax high street shops.”
Asked by Channel 5 how Bezos responded, Johnson stated, “He’s a capitalist and he made the very important point that this is a job for governments. And tax isn’t something that he’s going to pay as an ex gratia act of kindness.”
“It’s up to governments to come up with the right framework,” Johnson added.
Amazon, which made Bezos — its former CEO and present govt chairman — the world’s richest man, has confronted scrutiny over whether or not it pays sufficient in taxes given its booming enterprise.
Even as Amazon’s UK income jumped by greater than 50 % in 2020 to almost almost $28.2 billion, its UK division paid simply $25 million in direct taxes, The Guardian reported earlier this month.
When requested if Bezos accepted that Amazon isn’t paying sufficient taxes within the UK, Johnson stated, “This is a man who’s making … he has to function throughout the business framework, throughout the legal guidelines as he finds, that’s what he does.
“We’re trying to make sure we change so as to be fair to the taxpayer, fair to other businesses in the high street and elsewhere,” Johnson stated Tuesday.
Policy makers world wide have more and more embraced the notion of a worldwide digital tax meant to deal with multinational Big Tech corporations like Amazon with the purpose of constructing positive firms pay taxes primarily based on the place they really function.
Group of Seven finance ministers agreed on a framework deal for the tax in June, with particulars anticipated to be finalized in time for the Group of 20 assembly subsequent month.
On prime of taxes, Johnson additionally broached Bezos’ latest pledge of $1 billion in conservation efforts globally.
The pledge was introduced Monday by the Bezos Earth Fund, which Bezos began in 2020 to dole out his $10 billion dedication to struggle local weather change.
This week’s $1 billion pledge will deal with efforts in Central Africa’s Congo Basin, the tropical Andes area and the tropical Pacific Ocean, all of that are key areas for biodiversity, the announcement stated.
“Amazon is coming to the rescue of the Amazon,” Johnson joked at his assembly with Bezos.
Bezos replied, “In part, we are going to start with the Congo basin, we are going to start with some rain sanctuaries, in the Andes — two different areas.”