Facebook has become the latest multinational to come under the spotlight for its tax affairs after figures revealed it paid just £2.9m in tax on profits of more than more than £800m.
Filings for Facebook Ireland, through which all of the social network’s profits outside the US are channelled, show it paid the Irish tax authority €3.2m (£2.9m) last year.
Facebook is structured so that companies buying advertisements on the website in the UK, or anywhere outside of the US, have to pay Facebook Ireland.
This allowed Facebook Ireland to make gross 2011 profits of £840m – or £3.1m per each of its 287 staff. Despite the high gross profit, Facebook Ireland was able to cut its tax bill to just €3.2m by using an accounting technique called the “Double Irish”.