SOCIAL media giant Facebook paid less tax than the average British worker last year despite raking in £105 MILLION from sales last year.
The American company’s UK branch handed over just £4,327 in corporation taxes, while a Briton on the average salary would have paid more than £5,000 on their income.
Facebook gave its British staff an average of more than £210,000 in pay and bonuses last year, according to its latest accounts.
The revelation will fuel the debate over how to ensure multinational firms pay their fair share in each country in which they operate.
The social network giant dished out £35.4million to its workers through a share bonus scheme, slashing its tax bill by reporting an accounting loss of £28.5million last year.
Facebook’s tax payment came to a total of £4,327 last year, in contrast to the £5,393 a single worker on the average UK salary of £26,500 would be liable to pay.
Britain is one of the American giant’s biggest and most profitable overseas markets.
Facebook’s account show its UK business notched up £105million in annual sales last year, which mainly came from advertising. This is more than double the previous year’s £49.8million.
However, this is just a small fraction of revenue that its American parent books from UK companies advertising on its site.
Facebook made a £2.9bn profit last year, on global sales of $12.5bn.
The UK branch’s losses have more than doubled from the £11.5million reported a year earlier, thanks to the high shared-based payments to staff.
The latest findings will be an embarrassment to Chancellor George Osborne, who vowed to crack down on tax-dodging by global firms.
John O’Connell, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers will be justifiably confused and angry about this low tax bill.
“But the problem lies with our complex tax code, and that is what politicians should address as a matter of urgency. We have to ensure our taxes are simple to eliminate loopholes.”
It is understood Facebook funnels British profits through its international headquarters in Ireland to another organisation registered in the Cayman Islands – a known tax haven.
Last year Facebook was criticised for paying just £1.8million in Irish taxation on more than £2.3billion.
Other multinational firms such as Amazon and Starbucks have also faced criticism for the amount of company tax they pay in Britain.
In response Mr Osborne introduced a ‘Google tax’ on diverted profits to stop global companies from moving their profits overseas to avoid tax.
A Facebook spokesman said: “We are compliant with UK tax law, and in fact in all countries where we have operations and offices.”