• Facebook paid £1.8million in Irish tax on more than £2.3billion global sales
  • Social network has been accused of channelling profits through Ireland 
  • This has allowed the company to avoid tax in the UK for two years running
  • Facebook ‘refused to listen’ to British public by not paying UK tax, MP says
  • Margaret Hodge called for ‘tough action’ on multinational companies
  • Chancellor says he will ‘put a stop’ to firms avoiding paying tax in Britain 

Facebook ‘refused to listen to the voice’ of the British public by channelling profits through Ireland to avoid the taxman in the UK, an MP said last night.

The move by the social network meant it paid just £1.8million in Irish tax on more than £2.3billion of global sales, but none in Britain.

The accusation came as details of the social network’s efforts to avoid paying UK tax emerged, just days after Chancellor George Osborne announced a crackdown on multinational companies using ‘elaborate structures’ to avoid paying up.

Around 46 per cent (£2.35billion) of Facebook’s global sales where channelled through Ireland – allowing the company to make profits of £2.3billion. Its tax bill was reduced further by paying £2.29billion in ‘administrative expenses’ to Facebook’s parent company. Shifting the money meant Mark Zuckerberg’s company only paid the equivalent of £1.81million in Irish tax on taxable profits of £5.76million. By channelling its UK sales through Ireland, Facebook has avoided paying any tax in Britain for two years running – despite 33 million Brits having accounts.

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said Facebook was ‘still refusing to listen to the voice of public opinion’. She added that the social network appeared to be ‘using elaborate corporate structures and artificial devices for no purpose other than to avoid tax’.

Ms Hodge said: ‘We have to take tough to crack down on this behaviour, and the UK should be leading the way on this issue.’

The UK boss of Starbucks, which has only paid £8.6m tax despite making £3billion in British sales since it first opened its doors in 1998, also admitted this week that it would not start paying corporation tax for the next three years.

Google paid £20m in UK tax last year despite its British revenue totalling £5.6billion.

Source: Daily Mail UK.