THE "AMAZON TAX ISSUE" will damage UK-based businesses unless the government takes decisive action, according to John Lewis managing director Andy Street.
Without action against avoidance, Street said Amazon would be able to "out-invest" and "out-trade" UK companies.
"There is less money to invest if you are giving 27% of your profits to the Exchequer," Mr Street told Sky News's Jeff Randall. "Clearly, if you are domiciled in a tax haven, you've got much more [money]. They [Amazon] will out-invest and ultimately out-trade us. And that means there will not be a tax base in the UK."
He added that multinationals should be taxed on earnings on a country-by-country basis.
This week, Amazon's director of public policy Andrew Cecil appeared before the Public Accounts Committee alongside representatives of Google and Starbucks.
He was reproached for his lack of "serious" responses to their questions and was told a more senior executive who could provide more detail would be ordered to appear.
The online retailer has drawn substantial criticism for driving its UK sales through Luxembourg, despite employing 15,000 people across several warehouses in the UK.
Amazon's UK profit was £207m last year, Cecil told the committee, on which it paid just £1.8m.
Sign up for Financial Director email alerts
Please enter your email below to receive your profile link
Search by job title, salary, or location - we only list senior financial roles
Accountancy Age has partnered with Home Learning College to offer you and your trainees a personalised learning experience with an all inclusive package
Join Financial Director and Infor to discover how migrating your ERP resource to the cloud can have a beneficial impact on your company’s profitability
Send to a friend