HMRC spends more on Facebook ads than social network pays in tax

Facebook is getting more money from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for adverts than it pays in tax, a Channel 4 investigation has revealed.

Facebook: the social network has previously been criticised for the low corporation tax it has paid
Facebook: the social network has previously been criticised for the low corporation tax it has paid

The social media site paid just £4,327 in tax in 2014, while in the following year HMRC paid £27,000 for adverts placed on the site to advise people on their tax payments.

The figures obtained by Channel 4 were released under the Freedom of Information Act.  HMRC has also spent £5,000 in advertising on Twitter between February 2015 and January 2016,  the investigation found.

Facebook made an accounting loss of £28.5m in Britain as it paid out more than £35m to its 362 UK staff in a share bonus scheme. Globally, Facebook made a profit of £1.9bn on revenues of £8.2bn in 2014.

Overall, government departments spent £489,329 in 2014 to 2015 on Facebook in the UK.

A spokesperson for the HMRC said: "Our investment in social media is carefully evaluated to ensure we are getting maximum value for the taxpayer."

Facebook told Channel 4: "We are compliant with UK tax law and in fact all countries where we have employees and offices."

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).

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