As Amazon smiles at its record $12 billion Prime Day sales, small retailers here are urging governments to act urgently to ensure the giants pay their fair share of taxes.
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“For years, small independent businesses have feared that large multinationals could use complex corporate structures to minimize their taxes in Canada,” he said protocol François Vincent, Vice President for Quebec at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
“SMEs understand that competition is part of the equation. All they ask is to be treated fairly compared to their peers in large multinational companies,” he sighs.
“Abusive”, “dangerous”, “predatory” … activist Stacy Mitchell had already criticized in an interview with Amazons Tactics protocol two years ago.
“Amazon uses its power to undermine smaller businesses by charging them exorbitant fees, spying on them, stealing their ideas, or sometimes even closing their accounts in the middle of the night,” she warned.
– Listen to Alexandre Dubé’s interview with François Vincent, Vice President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, on QUB radio:
However, in recent days an investigation by the globe and mail revealed that Amazon allegedly undervalued its domestic retail sales in order to pay less tax there.
“Their filing shows how keen Amazon was to ensure profits flow outside of Canada,” said DT Cochrane, economist for Canadians for Tax Fairness.
“Amazon does a lot of things that are not illegal but are questionable so that the profits made in Canada are as small as possible,” he continues.
Amazon did not respond to questions from protocolyesterday.
In the United States, Amazon avoided paying $5.2 billion in corporate taxes and paid just 6% in federal corporate taxes in 2021, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).
Zero tax in Europe
In Europe, Amazon paid no taxes on its $55 billion in sales last year, Bloomberg reported last February.
At the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), its executive director, Franco Terrazzano, is campaigning for tax cuts to keep the money here.
“To ensure more companies operate, invest and pay taxes in Canada, the government should lower corporate taxes,” he concludes.
–In collaboration with Olivier Bourque
On Monday, Canada’s tax authority declined to comment on Amazon’s specific case, saying it was making “efforts to ensure multinationals pay their share of taxes on the profits they make from doing business in Canada.” and achieve all over the world”.