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Johnson to Tell Bezos Amazon Must Pay Fair Share of Taxes

Boris Johnson, U.K. prime minister, during a news conference inside number 10 Downing Street in London, U.K., on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. Photographer: Neil Hall/EPA/Bloomberg

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he will tell Jeff Bezos that Inc. must pay its fair share of taxes in the country when the two meet on Monday.

Johnson will also tell the Amazon chairman to address working standards for employees in the U.K. He spoke to reporters on the way to the U.S., and said he would also congratulate Bezos “on his massive forestry initiative,” he said. “He’s putting a huge amount into planting trees around the world.”Johnson also addressed how the U.K. is seeking to smooth tensions with France and the energy crisis stemming from rising gas prices.

Amazon has been the target of efforts by countries seeking an overhaul of the international corporate tax system. In June, global policy makers were crafting their international tax plan to make sure the e-commerce giant was included, even though the U.S. company’s profit margin is below the 10% proposed threshold that would give other countries rights to collect revenue.

In July, countries at a round of talks hosted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development pushed for a more balanced international corporate tax system, setting a minimum corporate tax rate and establishing a new regime for sharing the taxes imposed on the profits of multinational firms.

Amazon said in May it was planning to hire 10,000 more people in the U.K., taking its total headcount in the country to 55,000 by the end of 2021 and making the company one of few big employers adding jobs during the pandemic.

The new jobs, on par with Amazon’s additions in the U.K. last year, will primarily be in fulfillment and parcel reception centers, but also include roles in fashion, digital marketing, engineering, video production, software development, cloud computing and AI, the company said then.

Amazon has come under fire for how it’s treated workers, particularly warehouse and delivery staff who became frontline workers during the pandemic.

Bezos is the world’s second-richest person with a net worth of almost $200 billion, according to the Blomberg Billionaires Index.


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