Facebook paid just £28m tax on record £1.6bn earnings in UK | Technology

Facebook’s UK operations paid £28m in tax last year despite attracting a record £1.6bn in British sales.

The social media company’s latest UK accounts show that gross income from advertisers rose almost 30% last year to £1.65bn, and pretax profits surged by more than 50% from £63m to £97m.

Facebook UK said the net revenues it made from advertisers rose 50% last year to £797m, meaning 12% of its sales were converted to profits.

This falls far short of the company’s overall performance – last year Facebook made $25bn (£19.7bn) of profit on total sales of $55.8bn – meaning it converted 44% of its sales into profits.

Facebook’s UK operation expanded rapidly last year with staff numbers rising by more than 50%, from 1,290 to 1,965 year on year, with a total staff wages and pension bill of £431m.

The company’s UK office provides marketing services and sales and engineering support to other parts of the company. Facebook said it spent £356m on research, development and engineering in the UK last year.

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Last month, online retail giant Amazon came under fire for paying just £14.7m in UK corporation tax last year, despite reporting sales of £2.3bn.

Earlier this month, Netflix UK’s accounts showed that the streaming giant received a €57,000 (£51,000) tax rebate from the UK government last year, despite making an estimated £700m from British subscribers bingeing on fare from The Crown to Stranger Things.

Last year, Google paid £66.8m in UK corporation tax, up from £49.7m, as pretax profits rose from £200m to £246m. Google UK reported £1.4bn in revenues last year, up from £1.2bn. Apple paid £3.8m in tax on £1.2bn in sales last year.

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