Facebook's United Kingdom tax bill has tripled to £15.7m after bumper year

Phillip Hammond makes his conference speech

According to accounts filed at Companies House, Facebook has paid £15.7m in tax to HMRC last year- three times the amount of tax it paid in 2016.

However, the company's profits only climbed by £4m year-on-year from £58.4m to £62.7m in 2017.

This left the company with a meagre operating profit of £62m, barely above the £58m it recorded in 2016, although its tax bill is more than triple the £5.1m it paid into the taxman's coffers back then. Facebook also received £8.4m in tax credits from granting its employees shares in the company, meaning that its net tax bill will be £7.4m. Corporation tax is calculated based on profit, rather than gross revenue, which is usually the reason why big companies seem to pay such small amounts of tax, but a quarter of the annual revenue seems "fairer" considering what regular people have to pay.

The social media giant's accounts show that while Facebook increased its United Kingdom income by more than 50% in 2017, its pretax profits remained similar to 2016.

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Absolutely outrageous that Facebook's United Kingdom tax bill is 0.62% of their revenue here; on an income of £1.2 billion they really should be paying much more than £7.4 million.

City A.M. revealed last week that online rentals platform Airbnb paid just shy of £600,000 in United Kingdom tax previous year, as its United Kingdom office operates under a similar structure to Facebook of providing marketing services to its Irish parent.

In a statement, Facebook's regional director of northern Europe Steve Hatch said: "The UK is home to our largest engineering base outside the United States and we continue to invest heavily here. We make sure that large businesses, just like everyone else, pay all the taxes due under United Kingdom law and we don't settle for less".

Last week, Chancellor Philip Hammond raised the prospect of introducing a new tax to address this concern.

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