Technology How much tax does Amazon pay in Germany?

19:20  30 june  2020
19:20  30 june  2020 Source:   t3n.de

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Wie viel Steuern bezahlt Amazon in Deutschland? Im Bild: Amazon-Firmengebäude in München. © Shutterstock How much tax does Amazon pay in Germany? Pictured: Amazon company building in Munich.

For the first time in the company's history, Amazon published figures on the tax burden. A first hesitant step towards transparency.

Amazon is repeatedly criticized for insufficient tax payments. Now the group has published figures for the first time, which should inform about Amazon tax payments in Germany . They are not completely transparent; Amazon has mixed too many cost types for this. The numbers can still give a first impression.

How Much Tax Amazon Pays in Germany

Amazon generated total revenue of 19.9 billion euros (22.323 billion US dollars) from all its activities in Germany in 2019.

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The taxes, levies and social security contributions directly incurred amounted to a total of 261 million euros, according to Amazon. This amount included Amazon's social security contributions, corporate income tax, trade tax, the solidarity surcharge and import duties on sales goods. According to Amazon, employers' social security contributions had the largest share.

It is difficult to assess how much tax Amazon pays in Germany if, in addition to the actual taxes, social security contributions by employees are included in the figures. Because how much social security contributions Amazon pays is not known - you only know that Amazon has around 20,000 employees. This suggests that more social security contributions are paid than income taxes.

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Unfortunately, these are not very meaningful figures that Amazon publishes here. At best, speculations can be used to classify the proportions in more detail based on known figures:

Amazon has around 20,000 employees in Germany. According to Statista 2019, the average contribution rate to social security (pension, health, nursing and unemployment insurance) in Germany was around 38.75 percent of the gross salary subject to contributions. The employer's share is half of the contributions (excluding accident insurance), i.e. 14.375 percent of the gross wages. The average salary is not known, but the income of the presumably smallest salary group is: According to the HR portal, a shipping employee earns 1,998 euros a month, Amazon himself mentions a possible salary of a shipping employee of around 2,500 euros after 24 months of service. Assuming the lowest income for all of the approximately 20,000 employees in Germany, Amazon's social security contribution would be at least around 69 million euros. This number is completely speculative, but it shows how high the share of social security in the 261 million published by Amazon could be. In any case, higher than 69 million euros.

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For comparison: Otto Group pays 100 million taxes on income and earnings in 2019

A further impression is given by the tax burden of the competition: According to the annual report, the Otto Group paid 100.7 million euros in taxes on income and earnings in the 2018/19 financial year.

Amazon pays taxes in Germany, the amount is unknown

A fundamental problem in the valuation of Amazon's tax payments is the business model, which is strongly designed for growth. If profits are reinvested again and again, the tax burden remains lower. How Amazon's tax behavior actually turns out, especially in Germany, remains difficult to assess in the end, because the merging of different key figures makes a comparison difficult or impossible. In order for critics who speak of tax avoidance behavior to actually take the wind out of the sails, Amazon's figures would have to be more transparent. So we only know that Amazon pays taxes, duties and contributions - but not how much.

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