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.

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."

The taxman's comms chief told PRWeek at the start of this year that it was prioritising PR over paid methids in its annual Inner Peace campaign encouraging people to file their tax return on time.

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

This story originally appeared on PRWeek sister site Marketing.

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