British independent bookstores are facing an unprecedented level of competition from behemoths such as Amazon. Such huge retailers that operate online are capable of undercutting prices and performing so-called ‘dumping’ schemes, which has been pushing classic bookstores to the brink of bankruptcy.
Amazon is currently generating impressive sales of £3.3 BILLION in the United Kingdom in 2014 alone; and the worse part is that it is not paying a dime in corporate taxes for this sum!
How is still possible? Well, all Amazon UK products (including books and toys) are routed through its Luxembourg subsidiary – I remind readers that Luxembourg is a tax-free country; this means that every time a British citizen is buying goods from Amazon, it is actually sponsoring a company based in Luxembourg, to the great detriment of independent book retailers.
Although Amazon is not doing technically anything illegal, it does have an unfair advantage over its competitors. Experts claim that if Amazon was to pay corporate taxes in the United Kingdom, it would own the government a whopping £100m in British corporation taxes.
Independent booksellers are always happy to welcome competitors into the market, but it is virtually impossible for them to cope with such an unfair advantage.
Amazon might certainly be playing by the books, but what they are doing is certainly not fair. They are cheating the entire British population and the government. In my books, this problem needs to be swiftly addressed.
It’s time Amazon started to pay taxes like every other company.
Last year, it has been revealed that Starbucks had adopted the same method of avoiding taxes. After intense public pressure, the well-known coffee chain agreed to move its business legally in the UK and started paying taxes. We hope Amazon will reconsider its position and will start doing the same thing. Until they do, please refrain from buying from Amazon and try to support local, independent business instead.
I hope as many people as possible will agree with the ideas presented in the above petition and will support the campaign. Thank you in advance for your interest in this matter.