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."