Dixons Retail chief seconds John Lewis’s Amazon tax warning

Sebastian James shares John Lewis MD Andy Street's concerns over corporate tax avoidance

16 Nov 2012 Accountancy Age

By Calum Fuller


DIXONS RETAIL chief executive Sebastian James has backed warnings that UK retailers could be driven out by tax avoidance from larger multinationals, citing Amazon.

John Lewis managing director Andy Street yesterday said Amazon would be able to "out-trade" and "out-invest" its British rivals.

Writing on his Twitter account, James said: "I agree with Andy Street: retailers making profits in the UK should pay tax in the UK."

The comments follow Amazon's appearance before the Public Accounts committee alongside Starbucks and Google to answer accusations of corporate tax avoidance.

Amazon director of public policy Andrew Cecil was roundly criticised by the committee for his lack of "serious" responses, and was told a more senior executive would be summoned in his stead.

Dixons has 1,200 stores, including PC World and Currys, and Amazon is a major rival.

Visitor comments

Comet was affected by Amazon

One of the reasons identified for collapse of Comet was the rise of Amazon. As Amazon and similar internt companies based in tax havens get bigger - we loose Tax income. If product is sold in UK - They shold pay % of turnover - not profit (profits are massaged by these companies to declare the profit in a place where there is low tax.

Posted by David Croft, 16 Nov 2012

Is the pot black?

Where does the extended warranty money go in Dixons - to the Isle of Man?

Posted by Garth Banks, 16 Nov 2012

Even Tax

Should companies fail to present a fair tax by using unfair practices then use a licence to allow then to trade based on what they would pay as a tax and allow them the choice .Failure would mean a very hefty fine or finally ban them from trading

Posted by Paul Swee, 16 Nov 2012


Surely this is covered on the CT600 under the heading Transfer Pricing?

Posted by Charles Stringer, 19 Nov 2012

Dixons & Isle of Man

Garth banks comment is worthy of note but "extended warranties" are "insurances" and the IOM insurance compliance rules are (or were) far less onerous than the UK insurance rules. At one time the AA were exempted from some of the UK insurance rules as their roadside assistance people wore uniforms!! If retailers' warranties and service contracts were equally excluded from the onerous rules, there would be no excuse.

Posted by Graham Hirst, 19 Nov 2012

Stop Blaming Corporates

I am sick of the media portraying corporates as the bogey men of our economy. As the saying goes "you get what you vote for" and we have got a tax code created by successive governments to pander to the whims of their backers and financiers over many years to the point that it is fit for purpose. The fact that, through double taxation treaties, incentives to attract inward investment and global "competitiveness" our law makers have seen fit to pass legislation that comes close to making Corporation Tax nigh on optional is not the fault of the corporates.

We need a tax code fit for purpose that doesn't leave HMRC or the taxpayer in any doubt about how much is payable. This will require a review of company law too.

We all know what the problem is but the politicians haven't the b***s to fix it in case they hurt one of their benefactors. Instead, they use the press to whip up anti-corporate sentiment as the basis on which a future "fudge" will be based.

Posted by Bob Eastoe, 20 Nov 2012




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