May 1 - A Reuters investigation into Google’s UK activities shows its low tax bill could be open to challenge by the UK tax authority
In a decade Google has become one of the biggest companies in Britain by turnover but when it comes to taxes the company remains at eight there. Between 2006. And 2011. The company had UK revenues of eighteen billion dollars but pay taxes equivalent to just sixteen million dollars. Just this month Google's chairman was in London defending his company's low tax payments. Is that right. Well the way in my understanding of the tax lies if the taxes say this this is what you do and this is exactly what we're doing it. But a Reuters investigation. Has revealed inconsistencies. Between what Google tells the UK authorities. And other public statements the company makes these discrepancies. Could have a big impact on the company's future tax bill. Google doesn't pay taxes on sales in Britain or another big European countries because it says all salespeople there based in Dublin. Most of that money goes -- an affiliate and Bermuda. Without paying taxes. Say I don't know 12100 thinking using these thirteen hundreds and lost on the left I'm not how -- -- -- school's not in that nobody's sending middle promoting the products but however the company's own website tells a different story. In mid April Google advertised dozens of jobs for London based sales people. Meanwhile an examination of Linkedin showed over 150. Google employees in the capital claiming to work in sales. It's purely a one year old it's an account executive for the wild our product. And we can see among that responsibilities that they any prospective candidate would be expected to conduct these include. Cultivate relationships with tough agencies and Bryant to negotiate contracts and secure new business. Until assistant overseeing the account management process for accounts one. Some experts think this evidence could force Google to change its tax status in -- on the basis of the document. We have here. It would be very hard indeed to argue that Google does not. Attacks the presence in the UK I think that's nation policy needs to a little bit more dynamic a little bit so broad in the -- investigates and collect. Collects evidence because the evidence. Shows as I'm concerned that there is an issue which could be taken with the investigation. And possibly even prosecution. On on the basis of what is now publicly it was publicly available information. But Google's troubles might not end there. One lawmaker says the company has big questions to answer. The allegations you put to me be serious and we will need to. Very quickly cool back the Google executives. To give them a chance to explain themselves. And to ensure that -- they told us less time ride was not being economical with the truth. In -- of this information. Would you like the tax authority next due in relation to do what I always argued that the distinction. The -- between avoidance and innovation is. And it. A boy this is no -- -- legitimate it's open to interpretation. And again I think the fact that you put on the table. If that correct. Convince me that again. HM policy has to be much more a sensitive. And it's going rested on behalf of the UK text that. To ensure that we mean you do get. -- -- -- For the economic activity that takes place in this country and its profits -- enjoyed from. Google says it follows the -- in all the countries where it operates. But declined to comment on the details of the job -- or Linkedin profiles. Tom -- Reuters.