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Press watch: ‘We pay our taxes!’

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‘"We pay our taxes!" independent booksellers are telling customers across the country in the latest fightback against Amazon.

‘A new high-street campaign from the Booksellers Association refers, tongue in cheek, to MPs' quizzing last week of executives from Amazon, Starbucks and Google over their tax affairs. The companies were accused of diverting hundreds of millions of pounds of profit to tax havens - Amazon was alleged by MPs to avoid UK taxes by reporting its European sales through a unit based in Luxembourg.

‘Now independent booksellers are highlighting the difference with how they operate, displaying bold red posters in their windows reading: "Can pay, do pay! We pay our taxes" and "Your money, your bookshop, your community, we pay our taxes".

‘“Overseas-registered bookselling companies doing a lot of business in the UK, but paying little – or no – tax put our members who do pay taxes at a competitive disadvantage. In view of the public mood and interest, we have produced two posters for those of our members that want to use them," said Booksellers Association chief executive Tim Godfray. "We want consumers to be aware of the issue and, by doing so, to support those booksellers who do pay their taxes.”’

The Guardian, 21 November 2012