The Daily Star, AFP, November 13, 2012
|A woman shops for wine on Amazon's Internet site on November 8, 2012 in|
Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER
PARIS: French tax authorities have demanded $252 million in back taxes and interest from online retailer Amazon, according to a company document.
Amazon, which is under increasing pressure over the amount of tax it pays in Europe, is in dispute with the French tax authorities over the amounts involved, the company says in a document filed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which has been posted on the stock market regulator's website.
The back taxes that the the French are seeking from Amazon relate to earnings in France for the years 2006-10.
The emergence of a dispute between the US multinational and the French authorities emerged a day after Amazon's public policy chief Andrew Cecil was grilled by British MPs who suspect the company should be paying much more tax there.
Cecil angered the lawmakers by failing to answer straightforward questions about the company and it earnings.
Cecil was unable to explain the corporate structure of the group and admitted not knowing who owned Amazon's Luxembourg-based holding company.
The parliamentary committee, which is also examining the tax affairs of Google and Starbucks, said it would be summoning a more senior Amazon executive to answer their questions.