Facebook paid just less than £5,000 in corporation tax last year despitepaying out £35.4m in staff bonuses, according its latest published accounts.
The social media giant paid out just £4,327 in corporation tax, less than that of an average UK wage of £26,500, while rewarding its 362 London staff with £35.4m in bonuses.
In giving out the staff bonuses the £169bn company technically operated at a loss of £28.5m in the UK, meaning it only had to pay less than £5,000 in corporation tax to the HM Revenue for the year.
The staff payment scheme was worth around £96,000 per staff member and when compiled with salaries, its UK staff received £210,000 on average.
In a statement Facebook said it was “compliant with UK tax law, and in fact in all countries where we have operations and offices. We continue to grow our business activities in the UK”.
With profits on its worldwide operations totalling £1.9bn last year, Facebook’s tax contribution will undoubtedly tarnish its reputation in the UK and intensify the debate on how to ensure multinational corporations such as Facebook and Starbucks make fair tax contributions.