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Amazon receives $252 million back tax claim

  • Internet retail giant Amazon revealed on Monday it had received a $252 million demand from French tax authorities for back taxes, interest and penalties in relation to "the allocation of income between foreign jurisdictions".

    The claim comes as European countries ramp up efforts against U.S. companies seeking to lower their tax bills in the continent by channeling profits through low-tax regimes.

    Amazon said it will fight the tax claim in court if necessary. The tax demand, which had not been previously reported, was referred to at a UK parliamentary committee hearing by an Amazon official. The demand relates to the calendar years 2006 through to 2010.

    Amazon minimizes its tax bill in France and other European countries by channeling sales through Luxembourg, which offers tax breaks to foreign companies based there.