ONLINE auction and shopping giant eBay has reportedly avoided paying nearly £50m in corporation tax in Britain through legal accounting schemes.
The group paid just over £1m in UK corporation tax despite making nearly £800m annual sales in Britain, according to the Sunday Times.
It is thought eBay used legal tax-avoidance schemes, which saw it channel payments through Luxembourg and Switzerland.
The group is the latest firm to see its tax payments come under scrutiny after coffee chain Starbucks reportedly paid just £8.6m in corporation tax in 14 years of trading in Britain – and nothing in the last three years.
The American coffee firm – valued at £25bn – is understood to have generated more than £3bn of sales in the UK since 1998, but has paid less than 1% in corporation tax.
Facebook and Google have also been criticised over the poor contributions they have made to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
It is thought HMRC head Lin Homer will be questioned in a hearing by MPs on the Commons public accounts committee on November 5 over tax avoidance strategies used by foreign firms.
An eBay spokesman said: “eBay Inc. in Europe works with tax authorities and complies fully with all applicable tax laws and regimes – including national, EU, and internationally recognised OECD rules.”