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Google The Almighty Buck

Google May Be $1 Billion Behind In Tax Payments To France 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the maybe-run-a-search-to-see-where-it-went dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ars Technica reports, 'Technology giant Google has been delinquent on its tax payments in France for the past few years, to the tune of more than $1 billion in missed payments, and it now may be hit with a sizable tax penalty by the French government.' Google asserts that it has operated within the law in France, but the French government has reason to believe that in order to avoid French taxes, Google has been passing off some of its business contracts as Irish rather than French."
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Google May Be $1 Billion Behind In Tax Payments To France

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  • $1B? That's nothing! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 26, 2014 @07:29PM (#46850489)

    Ever heard of the Double Irish and a Dutch sandwich [wikipedia.org]?
    The City of London [wikipedia.org] has established [theguardian.com] a world-spanning network of tax heaven states, mostly consisting of former parts of the english empire. Big corporations use this system to not pay taxes, and the sums involved exceed 1$B by far.

    • It will only take one EU country to bring that house of cards down. Three cheers to France for starting with it.
      • It will only take one EU country to bring that house of cards down. Three cheers to France for starting with it.

        This is assuming that France is correct, and not just shaking down a rich company for some extra cash.

        I've got no real opinion, since I'm not a tax accountant (and I doubt anyone else who chimes in today will be one either)...

        • by mpe (36238)
          This is assuming that France is correct, and not just shaking down a rich company for some extra cash.

          Just about all large transnational companies have complex schemes to avoid paying taxes. It's quite possible that a small mistake would leave them with a huge tax liability.
    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Damnit, now I'm hungry.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @08:37PM (#46850725) Journal
    Google has played the same tricks in the UK. Google claims that the sales are made in Ireland, while employing many people in the UK whose job titles includes sales. I expect there are Google employees in France and UK (and most other European countries) who get sales commissions for sales "made" in the Ireland.
  • According to the DGF investigation, the company only sends Google Ireland contracts, but they are written in French with French clauses, and therefore considered French contracts.

    So why don't they write the contracts in English? They'd be easier to read that way.

    • by RJFerret (1279530)

      According to the DGF investigation, the company only sends Google Ireland contracts, but they are written in French with French clauses, and therefore considered French contracts.

      They should stop reading them via translate.google.com.

  • That seems to be the response these days by governments trying to collect money.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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