Jeff Bezos hates taxes. He may be the richest man on the planet, sitting on 157 billion euros, boasting billions of donations, he still hates taxes. From the origin of Amazon, in 1994, this former Wall Street employee plans to install the headquarters of what was then an online bookstore on an Indian reservation near San Francisco to avoid California taxes while by taking advantage of technological talents. Project not completed but which foreshadows the rest. Of the 235 billion euros in sales totaled worldwide last year, Amazon paid only 2 billion euros in taxes thanks to a clever (and obscure) financial package in Delaware, the American tax haven – who elects Joe Biden as senator since 1973.
And optimization is not confined to the United States. In France, the company is divided into eight companies, all hosted at the head office in Clichy (Hauts-de-Seine), but all attached to Luxembourg entities – themselves responding to Delaware.
Amazon organization chart in France
Why Luxembourg? For its enormous tax advantages. According to our information, the Luxembourg headquarters of Amazon, for example, declared turnover of 22 billion euros in 2016 and was taxed at 22 million euros. “It’s abusive, but it’s legal! “, explains Eric Vernier, specialist in tax havens.
“Amazon is tracing its profits back to the parent company in Luxembourg, and itself doing so to the De
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