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Google Government United Kingdom

France Seeking $1.76 Billion In Back Taxes From Google (reuters.com) 195

An anonymous reader writes: According to a Reuters insider, France is seeking 1.6 billion euros in back taxes from Google, dwarfing what the United Kingdom recently agreed to pay. France apparently has no interest in striking the same 'sweetheart tax' deal that put the UK into a critical light when it revealed that the search giant would pay only 130 million pounds of tax, a $181.18 million settlement, for over 10 years in multi-billion dollar trade in the UK.
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France Seeking $1.76 Billion In Back Taxes From Google

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  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @05:02PM (#51577207)
  • France Seeking $1.76 Billion In Back Taxes From Google

    According to a Reuters insider, France is seeking 1.6 billion euros in back taxes from Google

    Blimey. If it's slid that far between headline and summary, it'll be down to 0 by the morning.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @05:29PM (#51577401) Homepage
    I know the site has a pretty staunch libertarian lean, but its important to rememember: Google rakes in around 17 billion dollars per quarter.

    france wants backtaxes for multiple years totalling ~2% of an entire years revenue.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How much does Google rake in in France per quarter? Not $17 billion. The US accounts for about half of that; French revenue not likely to be a big chunk. Why should Google be taxed by the French on the money they make in the US or elsewhere?

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        The taxes need to paid where the revenue is generated and not be scammed as inflated costs in order to shift the profit to tax havens.

        My only thought it, hey wait the fuck up, what is going on here. As an individual if I had cheated that much in taxes I would not only be forced to pay it, but interest and a fine on top, but wait, theres more, I would also be not enjoying an extended custodial sentence. So seriously France WTF is going on and why are not a bunch of google bean counters going to prison, se

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          This is only the preliminary figure set by the tax authority. They usually issue a preliminary number that the corporation can challenge in court. If they don't challenge or they lose, they pay that PLUS interest and any applicable files.

          Unfortunately prison would be hard to arrange because the bean counters will claim that they genuinely misinterpreted the tax laws. It would be hard to prosecute, although I think they should still try because it would set an example for anyone else thinking of trying it on

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @09:01PM (#51578933)
      That's revenue. You have to subtract operating expenses. Google's profit per quarter is about $4 billion.

      France has a population of 66 million people. Assume 2/3 of those use Google (the rest being too young or luddites) and you get 44 million users. Figure Google has a billion users, so France accounts for 4.4% of that.

      If you look at Google's growth profile [internetlivestats.com], it more or less forms a triangle going back to about 2005. So assuming constant profit margin, total Google profit has been about $4 billion * 4 quarters * 11 years / 2 = $88 billion.

      4.4% of $88 billion is $3.87 billion. So France wants to tax Google at a $1.76 / $3.87 = 45.5% tax rate.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        That's now how tax works, at least not in France. They have a tax rate, they look at the amount of profit generated in France and apply it to that. Nothing to do with population, it's purely the amount of profit Google.fr has made over the past decade in their country.

        The French corporation tax rate is 33%. So if that is 45.5% on the global scale, it means that France is making more money for Google than the average of all other countries it operates in. That's hardly surprising.

      • 4.4% of $88 billion is $3.87 billion. So France wants to tax Google at a $1.76 / $3.87 = 45.5% tax rate.

        Shouldn't forget interest and penalties. Penalties in France go up to 300% of the actual tax amount due.

  • How much does it add up to, when you include late fees, compound interest, inflation, punitive damages, and the megacorp discount?

  • by seven of five ( 578993 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @05:58PM (#51577633)
    France is seeking 1.6 billion euros in back taxes from Google, dwarfing what the United Kingdom recently agreed to pay.

    The UK owed France taxes? What's that got to do with Google?
  • First they want to be treated like people and now that they are...

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @06:52PM (#51577989)

    Yaay go France. I wish the UK had more balls.
    Alternatively maybe I can now "agree to pay" about 100th of my UK tax bill. and If not, why not?

    • by JazzLad ( 935151 )

      only 130 million pounds of tax, a $181.18 million settlement

      Yaay go France. I wish the UK had more balls. Alternatively maybe I can now "agree to pay" about 100th of my UK tax bill. and If not, why not?

      $181.18M settlement tells me they wanted $311.18M and got $130M ... I'n no economist, but it looks like they got 42% of the ask, not 1% ... did I miss something or are you more valuable to the UK than Google?

      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        Whatever. My point wasn't about the figures, but the whole notion that Google can somehow tell the UK Inland Revenue Service how much tax it feels like paying, rather than like the rest of us, have to follow established rules.
        Furthermore even 311.18m sounds already massively compromised, given France are apparently legitimately asking for billions.

        Neil.

    • Yaay go France. I wish the UK had more balls.
      Alternatively maybe I can now "agree to pay" about 100th of my UK tax bill. and If not, why not?

      Because you probably don't have a bunch of 'lords' or whoever it is that makes your laws and legal rulings with a vested interest in you making a nice profit for them to get a share of.

  • "IF" companies like this payed their fair share of tax the stock market wouldn't look as bloated plus that money would be injected into each countries economies, meaning better education, roads, welfare (not corporate welfare), health care, etc. There really is no excuse for "laws" that allow this type of tax avoidance and is the best thing for any country.
    • Please define fair share.
      Please define bloated.
      How would money being taken from profit generating entities be used to "Inject" money into the economy more efficiently than the entity making money doing it?

      If your idea of fair share is everyone paying a larger percentage of taxes than you do - you just don't get it. If Warren Buffet believes he is paying too little in taxes, he is free to mail the IRS a check for the surplus taxes he believes he owes. Since he doesn't send this check in, he is basically

      • It's like art. Hard to define but when a company is making 88 billion dollars and paying a few hundred million in taxes, you know something is wrong.

        I hope france nails google hard.

        Not because google- but because all the other companies and corporations that are externalizing their costs on host countries and then refusing to pay revenue to the countries.

Bringing computers into the home won't change either one, but may revitalize the corner saloon.

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