Prime Minister Jeff Bezos told the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that he told Amazon founder Boris Johnson that the e-commerce behemoth must pay its fair share of taxes.
Johnson met Bezos and his gal pal Lauren Sanchez in New York on Monday evening for the United Nations General Assembly in November, which kicked off Tuesday morning on the sidelines of the General Assembly.
What I did say to him was that we in the UK feel very strongly that the internet giants are required to make their fair share of contribution in tax, Johnson told ITN on Tuesday of the meeting.
When you sell many billions worth of goods in the UK then you ve got to expect taxation fair in the UK, he added.
We need a global sales tax, a proper way of making sure that we tax these high street businesses — as we tax the digital outlets. Asked by Channel 5 how Bezos responded, Johnson added, He's a capitalist and he made the very important point that this is a job for governments. And tax isn t something 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 - his former CEO and current executive chairman — the world's richest man, faces scrutiny over whether it pays enough taxes given its booming business.
Even as Amazon s UK revenue jumped by more than 50 percent in 2020 to nearly $28.2 billion, its UK division paid just $25 million in direct taxes, The Guardian reported earlier this month.
When asked if Bezos accepted that Amazon was not paying enough taxes in the UK, Johnson said: This is a guy who says he has to operate within commercial framework, within the laws 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 business in the High Street and elsewhere, Johnson said Tuesday.
Policy makers around the world have increasingly adopted the idea of a global digital tax meant to focus on multinational giant tech companies like Amazon with the goal of making sure companies pay taxes based on where they work.
Group of Seven finance ministers agreed on a framework deal for the tax in June with details expected to be finalized in time for the Group of 20 meeting next month.
On top of taxes, Bezos also broached Johnson's recent pledge of $1 billion in ecological efforts global.
The pledge was announced this Monday through the Bezos Earth Fund, which Bezos started in 2020 to dole out his $10 billion commitment to fight climate change.
This week s $1 billion pledge will focus on efforts in the Central Africa's Congo Basin, the tropical Pacific Ocean and the Congo - Congo Delta, all of which are key areas for biodiversity, the announcement said.
Amazon is come to the rescue of the Amazon, Bezos joked at his meeting with Johnson.
Bezos replied that in part, we are going to start with the Congo basin, we are going to start with some rain sanctuaries : Two different areas in the Andes?