Facebook to Pay Each UK Worker $1.1M Bonus

Not for purely altruistic reasons, though—it's to save big on its tax bill overseas
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2016 11:30 AM CST
Facebook to Pay Each UK Worker $1.1M Bonus
The Facebook logo is displayed outside of Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Facebook has found a creative way to drastically bring down its tax bill in the UK: Pay each employee who works there a million bucks, NBC News reports. As first noted in the Sunday Times, the company will pay out nearly $397 million in bonuses to UK staffers, which comes out to about $1.1 million each, with payments parceled out between now and the end of 2018. By doing so, Facebook can count the bonuses as taxable expenses and slash a large amount off the net profit it has to pay corporation taxes on, the Week explains. But while the soon-to-be wealthy staffers are likely celebrating, the British government is probably feeling a certain amount of frustration: Just last week, Facebook said it would revamp its tax structure in the name of more "transparency" amid criticism it was avoiding taxes in the UK, agreeing to stop diverting sales through Ireland, the BBC notes.

In 2014, Facebook pulled a similar stunt, with the $50 million in stock awards it paid out to employees in the UK resulting in a meager $6,135 corporate tax bill, even though its revenue that year in the UK was close to $150 million, per the Mirror and the AP. And apparently it's not the only company to take advantage of this loophole, with Amazon and other multinational corporations working off of similar tax arrangements. Some say, however, that the company's fair share of taxes will still get paid—the plan will simply shift the tax burden to the millionaire employees, who are already said to be paid an average salary of nearly $300,000 each and are taxed at a 45% rate. (While Facebook may be trying to avoid taxes, a teen is using the site to try to find his father.)

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