Anger mounts over Google’s UK tax bill

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A British parliamentary committee will ask Google to testify about a back tax deal under which it will pay 130 million pounds ($185 million) to settle claims covering a 10-year period. The news comes as anger grows over the amount the opposition Labour party has described as derisory. Sara Hemrajani reports.

Anger mounts over Google’s UK tax bill

Google’s tax bill is coming under fresh scrutiny.

That’s after it reached a deal with British authorities to pay £130 million to settle claims over a 10-year period.

The figure, many say, is far too small.

The tech titan faced a barrage of criticism in 2013 when it emerged the company was paying a fraction of its revenues in taxes by taking advantage of legal loopholes.

Google’s burden is reduced by playing national tax regimes against each other.

Its European sales are registered in Ireland, where corporation rates are low, and then the money is shifted to its holdings in Bermuda, a tax haven.

But with an agreement now in place, Britain’s finance minister George Osborne called the deal a “victory”.

SOUNDBITE: George Osborne, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, saying (English):

“We said we’d take action; now we have companies like Google paying tax and I want the message to go out that in Britain taxes are low, but they have to be paid and I expect more companies to follow suit.”

Several of his peers and campaigners are less enthusiastic.

And Google’s now been asked to testify in parliament over it’s – quote – “cosy deal”

Rabobank’s Jane Foley also says more tax cases like this are likely.

SOUNDBITE: Jane Foley, Senior Currency Strategist at Rabobank, saying (English):

“I think governments generally, not just the UK government, will continue to look at large corporates, look at their tax bills and try to ensure that these corporates do pay more in tax. This is not a one-off headline and I think we’ll see more of these type of headlines over the next few years.”

France is aiming to take a tougher line with Google.

Officials there are chasing the company for a tax settlement reportedly worth three times the amount the UK accepted.

Tags : bill, Googles, over, Mounts, Anger

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