Monday, April 20, 2009

Google avoids £100m UK tax

The Sunday Times reports:

"Google’s accounts show that the highly profitable search engine paid just £600,000 of UK corporation tax in 2007, despite generating revenues of more than £1.25 billion in this country."

TJN's Senior Adviser Richard Murphy did much of the work for the newspaper. Google avoided paying over £110m in UK tax in 2007. despite pulling in annual revenues of more than £1.25 billion, the research found. The story continues:

"Google avoided a further €135m (now £119m) in tax from Ireland during 2007. The search engine’s Irish subsidiary is owned by one of two companies Google has set up in the tax haven of Bermuda. Several sets of Google’s UK accounts were filed late, with one set of accounts outstanding by more than five months.

Vince Cable, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “Google is another in a long line of companies who seems to think that paying British taxes should be optional. “The reality is, the more tax that companies like Google avoid, the more the tax burden falls on the rest of the public."

Then, the usual disclaimer. The story said:

"Google, which has become the first port of call for hundreds of millions of people seeking information online, declined to reveal details of its corporate structure, how much UK tax it pays or the purpose of the operations it has set up in Bermuda. 'Google complies fully with the tax requirements in all the countries in which we operate,' the company said.

Richard explains more of the details here.


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