Bohumil Harbal writes in “I Served the King of England” that the largest company in the world is the Catholic Church, because it trades in something that no one has seen, no one has touched, and no one has touched. He met – that is, with God.
However, times are changing, and even the Catholic Church has a progressive leader at its head, Pope Francis, and has been overtaken by another company in magic – Amazon. It made Jeff Bezos the richest man on the planet. It got rich with the fact that it produces nothing, but with the help of general goods it moves goods from other manufacturers around the world. Hence, Amazon is actually just a huge warehouse that is in constant motion. But the biggest magic is that even though Amazon made record sales in Europe last year (due to the epidemic), it did not pay euros in corporate taxes. We were all robbed.
The first magic number is that Amazon earned 44 billion euros in Europe last year. People were forced to stay home, and for many, Amazon was the only supplier of basic products in addition to entertainment. So the company did well, but for a special reason it did not fare so well in Luxembourg, where it ended 2020 with a loss of 1.2 billion euros. However, we might not be interested in the Amazon results in Luxembourg at all – were it not for one small thing that was and remains Jean-Claude Juncker. Unfortunately, this unforgettable politician made Luxembourg a tax haven during his rule, and was very keen on Amazon paying taxes in Luxembourg. Juncker was known to be Amazon’s “problem solver”, so Amazon decided to pay corporate tax from Europe (or have its headquarters in Europe) in Luxembourg.
So 2020 is drawing to a close, and Amazon in Europe celebrates, and with it the Luxembourg subsidiary which, thanks to its loss, played the useful goofy role in first place. Since Amazon pays corporate tax from Europe in Luxembourg (who is behind Jean-Claude Juncker) and because the Luxembourg branch has been at a loss, Amazon pays nothing in corporate tax in Europe. To be completely precise – you will not only pay anything, but also get the possibility to write off an investment of 56 million euros from Luxembourg to make the company “better”.
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Yes, this farce is completely legal and there can be no disagreement about it. Amazon is abusing the fragmentation (or rather the lack of) the global tax system, and so gladly improves it. The other question, however, is whether the behavior is ethical. Especially from a company that often bars its employees from forming unions and is notorious for its depressing working conditions.
The faction I work for in the European Parliament (The Left) does not turn a blind eye to the left hand of the Amazon, so it commissioned a study from the University of London to reveal in detail how companies are stealing European countries, and thus everything. Their countrymen. The principle described in the Luxembourg example is unfortunately valid elsewhere, so Amazon uses this strategy not only to pay taxes in Europe, but also in the USA. Since 69 of all Amazon subsidiaries are linked to their parent Luxembourg subsidiary, this small European country will be used to steal other non-European countries.
The classic capitalist lesson says that if a company succeeds, it will be positively reflected in society, even thanks to taxes. But Amazon proves (if anyone needs another example) that it doesn’t have to be the case. Amazon is not a big employer – neither in terms of the number of employees nor in terms of working conditions. Jeff Bezos’ philosophy is based on strict cutting of all costs – especially for employees. With the help of attorneys and accountants, create such a tax soup so that losses become profits and at the same time he becomes a happy rich man.
Imposing minimal taxes on corporations around the world is now an absolute necessity, otherwise this thief will persist and inequalities in society will increase. Jeff Bezos, who is currently planning to build a half-billion-dollar yacht, said that tax corrections are needed, but the problem is clearly the system as a whole. So all that remains is to thank politicians like Jean-Claude Juncker for political retirement and work on a global remedy. Until the principle of “where the profit is made, the tax is paid” is applied, Bezos will be richer by the tax magic and his brothers will be bigger.
(Taken from profile)
- I am a Member of Parliament – thank you, for your sake, with you
- Electrical and mechanical engineering
Article taken from Ing. Katrina Kunena
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