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Spanish Authorities Raid Google Offices Over Tax (reuters.com) 135

An anonymous reader shares a Reuters report:Spanish officials raided Google's Madrid offices on Thursday in a probe related to its payment of taxes, a person familiar with the matter said, barely a month after the internet company had its headquarters in France searched on suspicion of tax evasion. A spokeswoman for Google said in a brief statement the company complied with fiscal legislation in Spain just as it did in all countries where it operated. The company was working with authorities to answer all questions, the spokeswoman added. Google is under pressure across Europe from politicians and the public upset at how multinationals exploit their presence around the world to minimize their tax bills.
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Spanish Authorities Raid Google Offices Over Tax

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just change national tax codes to tax a sale base on the location of the person or entity buying it. Simple and done. With this approach, the location of the seller is irrelevant.

    • The seller doesn't want to do the paperwork of collecting the tax. I hardly sympathize. It's the cost of doing business. They can hire another accountant.

      • The seller doesn't want to do the paperwork of collecting the tax. I hardly sympathize. It's the cost of doing business. They can hire another accountant.

        Actually the don't even have to hire a new accountant. Just task the one they already have looking for sneaky ways to dodge the taxes to take care of the problem. Wouldn't cost them any extra from a personnel standpoint.

        • by Dishevel ( 1105119 ) on Thursday June 30, 2016 @10:29AM (#52418989)
          No. You still need the sneaky guy. If you run a publicly traded company you kind of have a fiduciary duty to legally pay as little in taxes as possible. You are obligated to perform as well as possible for the investors.
          • All of this could be solved by moving to a consumption tax model rather than a revenue-based model.

            • Great. So for a consulting business I pay no taxes?
              Consumption tax works great on individuals. Not so good for companies.
              • They're consuming consulting services. Tax a percentage of what's billed.

              • I don't believe companies really pay taxes anyway. They just raise the price to compensate. The argument seems to be who plays the part of tax collector for the government. And that should be the company's problem.

                • I don't believe companies really pay taxes anyway. They just raise the price to compensate.

                  Raising the price means fewer sales.

                  • Only briefly, if they do it suddenly and noticeably, which is not the way it happens.

                    • It's called "what the market will bear", and they do that anyway because the hunger for profit is never satisfied.

                    • Yeah, okay. That's not my argument, which is that company taxes are in the price of whatever it is they sell. If taxes go up, so does the price. The tax is just tacked on.

                    • Yes, I get that, and my point still stands: They cannot simply raise the prices to make up for the tax because: Supply & Demand. Put simply: Their margins are affected by the tax.

                    • But they do. The price of the article is not reduced when taxes go up. You just see a higher sales tax or VAT tacked onto that price, meaning you do pay more. Nothing is coming out of the company's hide. I have yet to ever see that happen. The market will bear a lot of abuse just to have the latest piece of gimmickry. Also, supply and demand hardly play a part. Prices are arbitrarily set [economist.com]. This goes on throughout every big market, oil, shipping, agriculture, and Walmart, not just banking. Prices are based on

                    • Nothing is coming out of the company's hide.

                      Lower demand for their product.

                      Also, supply and demand hardly play a part.

                      Sigh.

                    • Lower demand for their product.

                      If you can show where that has ever been a chronic problem, please point me there. And even if it's true they will just lay people off. The company will not take the hit, and even if the company does, the executives will just find greener pastures and dissolve the company, and out of the ashes... you know the routine.

                      Sigh.

                      I did provide a link. I guess it depends on what you want to believe...

                    • If you can show where that has ever been a chronic problem, please point me there.

                      I really don't have time right now to run around the internet sending you links that prove something you should already know. I do find it hard to believe you've never balked at a price increase.

                    • Not due to the tax. In fact, no, a general price increase did no such thing. I still have to pay bills and buy food and clothing, regardless the price. And middle/upper income people could hardly care less. Taxes might affect their business dealings, but not their personal habits.

                      High taxes can kill an economy, but the company and its officers will always be the very last to feel the pain, if they to feel any at all, ultimately using bankruptcy proceedings to stiff the creditors and renegotiate labor contra

                    • I don't know why you would feel this is not the case.

                      Because in their quest for greater profit they do all that anyway.

                    • Throughout the course of this conversation you suggested several ways in which it does.

                    • It's added up at the register and you won't see it until you get your receipt ... And what are the chances of you cancelling it and demanding a refund after seeing it?.

                      It's not my intention to be obnoxiously pedantic, so apologies in advance, but let's be serious: You see the total before you hand the money over. That's why PoS systems have light-up displays. Even if you somehow didn't catch the tax until you paid, the fact that it went up will turn up in your budgeting in one way or another because you end up with less money.

                      How much do you think the tax affected the decision to purchase in the first place?

                      It happens all the time. In fact taxes are used to affect sales, like soda in New York City. Heck, where I live they change the tax on gas to cha

                    • Not enough to affect the company, or even government policy as far as I can see.

                      Believe me, any company that advertises their products will see even a miniscule change. They really do fine-grain tracking on their sales.

                      This is turning circular and I really wasn't trying to do that. You know where I'm at, I think I know where you're at. Not sure I see a resolution, here. Please, feel free to say your bit, and I'll read it, and you'll get the final word because I am gonna bail. Have a good evening, man.

                • How much faith do you have in the altruistic tendencies of companies to get less money out of you than they could? Not quite a mustard seed's worth? Companies already set their prices for maximum profit. Assuming they do it right, if they lower the price they sell more but the reduced profit on each item more than offsets that. If they raise the price, they make more profit on each sale, but enough fewer sales to offset that.

                  Basically, if they could make more money by raising the prices to compensate

              • by dhaen ( 892570 )
                Yea, consumption tax is like VAT in Europe. It's a consumer tax that is deductible for business, so transparent.
              • Does your business buy paper, Internet services, pay rent, provide drinks/snacks, ever have employees travel? You'll pay tax on anything you purchase. I guess if your business can exist without spending a single cent on anything then yes - you pay no taxes.
          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            Maybe it's that bad in the US, but in Europe not so much. Your shareholders can't demand you break the law, or even flirt with it.

            And the tax authorities in most countries are quite helpful, they will tell you if you should be paying more. In the case of France and Spain, Google was warned repeatedly that it owed the tax authority money, but just didn't pay up. Very unwise, and I'm sure the shareholders are irritated. The way to deal with these issues is to ask how much you need to pay, negotiate a little i

            • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Thursday June 30, 2016 @12:26PM (#52419743)

              Your shareholders can't demand you break the law, or even flirt with it.

              No, they're not allowed to do that in the US either. For the most part, no one is breaking the law. The mechanisms they are using are fully legal, generally by exploiting legalisms that were intentionally left in the tax code for "generous campaign contributions". The butt-hurt feeling everyone has, that was their government selling them out, leaving these ways of not paying taxes everything thought they should be paying.

              Now perhaps Google is breaking the law in these cases, that's for a court to figure out. I bet it's not so simple and clear cut. I have heard rumors however that Spain and France employ some extra-legal methods of dealing with these cases that involve some back scratching. And perhaps Google is going to pay a percentage of what it owes with a very disingenuous "My bad", and politicians are going to walk away talking about how they brought down the monster and somewhere some programs won't be paid for because the money doesn't exist.

      • In nearly every case I can think of, the seller is most likely already set up to collect local sales taxes (and does so). VERY few B2C businesses have no sales tax collections. And B2B businesses are already reporting things like sales and purchases and payments on their various tax forms (revenues, expenses, etc). I agree - it's not an extra burden at all - and would allow the best way to tax - on consumption, not income.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      And then no one but the big corporations would be able to afford to sell things over the internet.
    • Sales taxes are only capable of collecting taxes from the purchaser on purchases. Money that doesn't get spent doesn't get taxed, and sales tax increases affect the poorest the most.

      The impacts of a sales tax are tantamount to increasing prices of goods through any other mechanism: the consumer is capable of purchasing fewer goods (thus poorer), and not as many goods are produced, thus jobs are reduced.

      Sales taxes can't be progressive, so can't respond to an increase in income spread. For example: in

      • You can make sales taxes as progressive as you want them to be. I'm sure you've seen this before, it's as simple as a rebate of $X.

        Suppose you want people who spend $10,000 or less to pay zero tax, and you want people who spend a lot to pay about 15%, with the people who spend the most paying a higher percentage than those who spend a medium amount.

        You tax transactions at 15%, then refund $1,500. Simple.
        The person who spends $10,000 ends up paying zero taxes.
        Someone spending less than $10K ends up paying ne

        • That's a negative income tax with a sales tax funding source. It poses a simple problem: you have to get the rebate before you can spend it.

          People who earn more and put their money into a savings account to grow are able to gain more money without paying taxes on it. They don't pay taxes on what they put into savings (just like you don't pay taxes on what you put into 401k), and they don't pay taxes on the interest. For people with a *lot* of income, they can negotiate high-interest savings with the

          • Gas has a lot of tax in it.

            • It does. So does alcohol. These are also regressive taxes, although gas less-so. In the case of alcohol, it's a tax per liter, and you can really only drink so much; in the case of fuel, your private jet does indeed burn more than my Mazda 3.

          • I know of a tax scam? that some people do is they buy from a out of state distributor but they pick up at the in state factory and they don't pay any sales tax.

            • Pretty much. We're trying to fix it, and that's raising some complexity issues (tracking sales tax is hard).

              The real problem is businesses are supposed to report sales taxes; out-of-jurisdiction businesses have no reason to care, and you have no way to audit people's purchases. That's on top of the basic issue of higher-income-earners sending proportionally less of their money to purchases, thus less-taxable (a sales tax is a much steeper tax exemption for the rich than current deductions).

        • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

          The issue is corporation tax, not sales tax.

      • by godrik ( 1287354 )

        sales tax increases affect the poorest the most.

        The purpose of sales tax can be different in different places. In France, sales tax is about a quarter of the country's budget. This seems odd in France who wants to tax the rich more than the poor.

        But what you need to remember is that France is a highly touristic country. A significant fraction of the sales tax comes from tourists. It is hard to get good numbers on that, but a few percent of the sales tax collection is from tourists.

        With companies that are offshoring their profits, sales tax maybe the only

        • But what you need to remember is that France is a highly touristic country. A significant fraction of the sales tax comes from tourists. It is hard to get good numbers on that, but a few percent of the sales tax collection is from tourists.

          With companies that are offshoring their profits, sales tax maybe the only opportunity the government has on taxing that section of the market.

          So with over 90% of their money going to employee wages in-country, they can't just tax the income of those employees?

          That's the thing: a small amount of the income trickles up to the top (it doesn't trickle down). It's not negligible, and it's not large; it's a relatively tiny proportion. Tourism means local businesses hiring local labor sell things, pay their labor, and run off with 4%-12% of the money (averaging 10%). Maybe they hide that 10% offshore; you get to tax the other 90% immediately, and

          • by godrik ( 1287354 )

            So with over 90% of their money going to employee wages in-country, they can't just tax the income of those employees?

            You are ignoring the place where that income is realized matter for taxation and how easy it is to redirect fund to a foreign country. If you cut sales tax tomorrow, you will not raise local wages, the company will incur a large profit that it will offshore to a country where there is no business tax. The tourist pay the same amount, wage did not go up, the French government (in this example) loses tax revenue. The business owner cashes a lot of money.

            Maybe they hide that 10% offshore; you get to tax the other 90% immediately

            Sales tax is about 20% in france. So you are saying the

            • the company will incur a large profit that it will offshore to a country where there is no business tax.

              That "large profit" is 10% at best. That was my point: the taxes on profits are a fraction of the money flowing into the country.

              Sales tax is about 20% in france. So you are saying the government lose about 10%-15% of its income on tourist sales tax. That's about a billion dollar that they could get and they don't.

              The French nation has $9 billion coming in from wages out of $10 billion being spent into the country. Cutting sales tax would allow tourists to buy 20% more, meaning you'd need to employ 20% more French people to supply and sell those things, meaning that money keeps flowing into the French economy. That causes population growth in France, creating more revenue.

        • It's also a lot easier to hide income than to hide outgo. Particularly in a country where people evade their income taxes in a big way, a consumption tax may be the way to go.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's not that simple. It's not sales tax (or VAT as we call it over here) that these companies are avoiding, it's corporation tax. Sales tax is a percentage of the sale price, so it is 100% clear and hard to dodge. Corporation tax however is levied on profits, so companies use various tricks to reduce the apparent profits in the country where the sale takes place, and shift the profits to a country with lower corp tax. For example, Starbucks retail arms buy their beans from a Starbucks subsidiary in Luxembo

      • Or perhaps we let countries compete on tax rates/structures and let each country how best to fund itself? Why does it have to be equal across all countries, other than trying to eliminate the concept of countries altogether?
    • That's a sales tax. Countries like Spain are also going after the corporate profits, despite already having had their bite at the apple when they taxed the sale. I suppose they haven't realized that a global economy means nations have to compete as well - in this case, in the form of corporate tax rates.
  • From TFA:

    This is possible thanks to a loophole in international tax law and hinges on staff in Dublin concluding all sales contracts.

    Its not as if that loophole is new or anything...

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday June 30, 2016 @10:20AM (#52418951)

    a person familiar with the matter said, barely a month after the internet company had its headquarters in France searched on suspicion of tax evasion.

    I don't think there is any doubt that they are evading taxes. The problem is that they appear to be doing so (technically) legally. I'm wondering when countries will wise up and finally start changing the laws to make this sort of tax dodging hard or impossible. I realize to some degree this is playing a game of legal whack-a-mole but it needs to be done.

    A spokeswoman for Google said in a brief statement the company complied with fiscal legislation in Spain just as it did in all countries where it operated.

    While that is most likely true it also is nothing more than avoiding the question. They know they are avoiding taxes and the fact that they manage to do so in some clever legal fiction doesn't make is any more ethical. Google is hugely profitable and the shell game they are playing to avoid taxes is reprehensible as far as I'm concerned. I'm particularly galled when they act like it is somehow the fault of the lawmakers that they are dodging taxes they really should owe.

    Spare me the arguments about "it's legal so it's right" - lots of things are legal but aren't ethical and this is one of them. I'm an accountant and crap like this just infuriates me because I'm the one that would be asked to be "morally flexible" about this.

    • Sounds like an attempt to gather evidence before charges are laid. Possibly because they don't have any yet...shakedown is what this basically sounds like.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      wise up and finally start changing the laws to make this sort of tax dodging hard or impossible.

      Your #1 flaw in your presumption is you assume that the government has a RIGHT to collect taxes. It does not have that right. It is a necessary evil that we collect taxes, and everyone, everywhere should do everything in their power to avoid taxes, and keep their own money. I would consider it a duty of the citizen to avoid all taxes as legally possible.

      Taxes are regressive. All of them.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Your #1 flaw in your presumption is you assume that the government has a RIGHT to collect taxes. It does not have that right. It is a necessary evil that we collect taxes, and everyone, everywhere should do everything in their power to avoid taxes, and keep their own money. I would consider it a duty of the citizen to avoid all taxes as legally possible.

        Taxes are regressive. All of them.

        Before one can refuse to pay taxes in the entirety, one must first cease and desist using the services of a government. Otherwise, the cause lacks moral legitimacy, the same as a tenant in a building who refuses to pay any rent when they are still inhabiting and using the space which they are renting, and even demanding the landlord provide further services.

        It's one thing to practice rent withholding when needed to compel the landlord to take some further action, but even then, the tenants are expected to

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          one must first cease and desist using the services of a government.

          Government compels, under threat of government guns, the use of Government services.

          Your argument is invalid.

          • one must first cease and desist using the services of a government.

            Government compels, under threat of government guns, the use of Government services.

            Your argument is invalid.

            Nope, you can always just leave. If you don't want the service of living in the country, leave the country. The government is just the governing body of the land. So get the fuck out if you don't like it.

        • by Shatrat ( 855151 )

          All of Google's employees in Spain are paying taxes. I'm sure there are a dozen other way that Spain is getting some Euros out of google. They're just not getting as much as they would like. Spain is trying to maximize the tax revenue, Google is trying to minimize the tax expense. Normally that wouldn't be a problem but tax law is so complex that there are wild differences between that min and max based on buying things in the right places, registering things in the right way. If tax code were simpler th

        • I sell products to a company in Spain, shipped from a factory in Malaysia. I am based in the US. How am I using the services of the Government of Spain? My customer is using those services, but I am not. So why do I have to pay taxes in Spain?
      • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday June 30, 2016 @10:37AM (#52419025)

        Your #1 flaw in your presumption is you assume that the government has a RIGHT to collect taxes. It does not have that right.

        They do have a right to collect taxes. It's not even a question. In the US this is enshrined in the Constitution [wikipedia.org]. You might try reading it sometime. Other countries have similar legal frameworks. Your notion that governments have no right to collect taxes is preposterous nonsense. Furthermore it would be impossible to have a functioning civil society without taxation and you can't have taxation in the first place without a legal framework to support it. It's legal, appropriate and necessary. Get over it.

        It is a necessary evil that we collect taxes, and everyone, everywhere should do everything in their power to avoid taxes, and keep their own money. I would consider it a duty of the citizen to avoid all taxes as legally possible.

        Taxes are the price of civilized society. Don't like taxes? Go live in the woods somewhere off the grid. If you want to be a part of society then shut up, pay your fair share, and enjoy the results. Don't think the amount you are asked to pay is fair? Work to get the tax law reformed but understand that you will need to pay enough to cover the government services that we collectively demand.

        Taxes are regressive. All of them.

        I don't think you have a clue what the word regressive [wikipedia.org] actually means when it comes to tax.

        • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

          Are you a freeman?

          • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

            According to the US government, I am a slave. See the 14th Amendment. I am compelled under threat of government guns to forfeit my wages to support other people. ;) So I am under no illusions that I am a free man.

            • You are required to forfeit nothing. If you don't earn any money, and don't spend any, and don't own property, you don't owe taxes. I'm not recommending this as a lifestyle, but it's one legal way to avoid all taxes. If you do decide to take advantage of what society offers, society gets a cut.

              A slave does what he or she is told. You can do whatever you can get away with, although some of your money will be taxed. A slave eats what is provided, and lives where quartered. You can buy all sorts of fo

      • by Rhipf ( 525263 )

        Just remember that "Taxes are regressive. All of them." when infrastructure starts falling down around you.

        Oops! Sorry too late.

        • Your assumption is that we didn't have roads and schools and such before taxing everyone to death (hint: we did)

          Your assumption that taxes we pay for these things aren't redirected to other things. (The government makes more on Gas than the oil companies)

          Your assumption is that government is the only way to have these things (it isn't)

          Your assumption is that oh wait, I see your point. You actually agree with me, just that you won't admit it.

      • We need to collect taxes. We should do so as fairly as possible (recognizing that "fair" means different things to different people). Having some people who can avoid taxes and people in similar circumstances who can't isn't fair.

        If everybody were to avoid their taxes, government would collapse. There would be no road building or maintenance, no police, no restraint on what natural monopolies like the power company can do, no national defense, no public education or libraries, etc. Everybody except c

    • >> but it needs to be done.

      No, it doesn't. It really doesn't.

      >>lots of things are legal but aren't ethical and this is one of them.

      Are you a priest? You're obviously not a lawyer...

      >>I'm an accountant and crap like this just infuriates me

      Ah. Gotcha. Then you're in the wrong profession for someone with your temperament and outlook. Whether you are right or wrong, you will always be miserable.

      • No, it doesn't. It really doesn't.

        So the countries don't mean to collect the tax? Then why did they pass the laws to try to collect it? If they want to collect the tax then they need to pass the laws to close the loopholes. If they don't want to collect the tax then they need to repeal the taxes so the companies don't have to deal with the burden of trying to dodge the taxes. Either way it DOES need to be fixed. I don't really give a crap how they fix it so long as we don't have large companies with entire departments whose sole purpos

    • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      I'm wondering when countries will wise up and finally start changing the laws to make this sort of tax dodging hard or impossible. I realize to some degree this is playing a game of legal whack-a-mole but it needs to be done.

      Uhm, it's not up to those countries to change it. It's up to the EU. The EU is more interested in dealing with other problems right now.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      As long as Google is willing to deposit the money into some country's local national bank and keep the deposits stable enough that they can be used for lending and capitalization purposes without a liquidity crisis, I'd guess that Google will always find a country willing to offer whatever tax protection they're looking for.

      It's like football stadiums or new factories or anything that involves getting US states to bid against each other. It's a kind of prisoner's dilemma logic where there will be always so

    • I don't think there is any doubt that they are evading taxes. The problem is that they appear to be doing so (technically) legally.

      Then it is not really tax evasion but tax avoidance. The former is illegal, the latter is legal and is pretty much what everyone (corporation and individual alike) does every time they file a tax return.

    • Look at it this way, Spain taxes the transactions that occur within it's borders, but then decides it wants a cut of the profit too even though the profit is generated in another nation. There's nothing a nation like Spain can do about it. They have no right to tax profits generated outside their jurisdiction.

      What they haven't done is accept that in a global economy, nations have to compete as well. Particularly in regards to tax rates. Without an international agreement on unified corporate tax rates

  • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Thursday June 30, 2016 @10:22AM (#52418959) Homepage Journal

    Alright, I guess it has to be me...

    Spanish authorities raid Google offices over tax

      "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

  • Just let them off! Tax revenue is not used to pay for public services anyway. Its there to give value to money and to prevent inflation. If google want to store the money in an offshore account, let 'em, as its going to be doing exactly the same as if it was taxed.
  • People greatly overestimate the economic impact of business tax shenanigans. An enormous amount of business activity goes to wages, and very little to profits. Even Apple, an outlier in Cupertino, has $28 billion of operational costs and $38 billion of revenue; in Cupertino, their 13,000+ employees gain $2 billion in income, which Cupertino would like to tax at 8%, taking $800,000, which is somehow less than the money rolling into the local economy already.

    Business income taxes have the potential to ma

    • by godrik ( 1287354 ) on Thursday June 30, 2016 @12:45PM (#52419893)

      It is a matter of fairness. Either business income tax is useful, and there is no reason to let shady companies dodge them. Or they are not useful and no company should pay them.

      Overall, I feel that taxing businesses helps avoiding many cases of a company switching from salaries of top employees to business accounts.

      Finally, you seem to assume that the Spanish tax code is somewhat the same as the US tax code. I don't know the Spanish tax code, but in France, companies pay a non negligible amount of taxes.

      • I'm an optimizer, not a feelings-obsessed git. Fairness is secondary. Essentially, I don't take the idea that X is more important because of moral imperative when either A) X actively causes an increase in the amount of sickness, suffering, and death; or B) X has less of an impact than Y. It gets scaled, to a degree; lawsuits are important for re-establishing fairness, even though what really happens is money transfers from down the line (i.e. you sued the auto manufacturer for making a defective part t

        • by godrik ( 1287354 )

          I'm an optimizer, not a feelings-obsessed git. Fairness is secondary.

          So do you think it is right that some companies manage to dodge taxation while some other can not afford the legal fees to enter a tax privileged status ?

          It does not matter how you organize taxation or society in general. If there is a rule, you want it to be followed and not avoided by some technicality that enable ones to dodge the taxation.

          Take your particular favorite tax regime which is if I understood correctly, tax everyone income at 17%. Now, if you have to non neighboring competing businesses, I do

          • So do you think it is right that some companies manage to dodge taxation while some other can not afford the legal fees to enter a tax privileged status ?

            I think this: the focus on this above question is leading to over a million deaths every year (in 2000, it was estimated at 875,000); a focus on *other* *problems* eliminates nearly 100% of those deaths.

            To me, this circle-jerk is akin to standing around stroking your meat while you watch a teenager get raped, then claiming absolution because you didn't *do* anything. The problem is exactly that: you *should* have done something.

            It does not matter how you organize taxation or society in general. If there is a rule, you want it to be followed and not avoided by some technicality that enable ones to dodge the taxation.

            The current tax-dodging behavior is a stable system: businesses, rich p

      • If you're going to argue fairness, then businesses deserve to vote in elections. No taxation without representation, right?

        The stupid thing is, it doesn't matter whether you tax businesses or individuals. Businesses don't generate productivity - their employees do. A business is just a group of people agreeing to work together as a group. So all business taxes end up being paid for by people anyway. Via lower wages for employees, higher prices for customers, and lower dividends for stockholders. Th
        • by godrik ( 1287354 )

          If you're going to argue fairness, then businesses deserve to vote in elections. No taxation without representation, right?

          I don't see what this have to do with taxing fairly businesses? If there is a business tax code, it should apply the same to all businesses. Here in particular what happens is that some companies manage to pay tax lawyer to dodge taxation by using the complexities of the system. Certainly, this is not what the tax code (and international free trade treaties) intended.

          Whether companies should vote is a completely separate issue.

          The stupid thing is, it doesn't matter whether you tax businesses or individuals. [...snip...] Why would you ever think it's a good idea to instead tax the company they own, where they can shift the cost of those taxes onto anyone but themselves?

          I have no particular opinion on whether it is a good idea or not. But clearly mov

  • "Raid"...is that journalistic hyperbole or for real? Are we talking husky dudes and dudettes in tactical gear storming a Google office here? In the US, at least in my experience in the Fortune 500, you don't have to "raid" an office for tax info. You have to gain access to their transaction data and tax data. That doesn't take a raid because the chances of Google fleeing the country for parts unknown is nil. Unless they do things differently in Spain and France, the data they're looking for ain't sitting
    • by keltor ( 99721 ) *
      Politics works a bit difference in Spain and France and they LOVE to "raid" businesses, especially foreign businesses. Currently the EU has set a bunch of rules in place that make all of what these companies do VERY legal and some government officials hate it (these officials would rather Spain be Spain, and not just a "part of the EU."
    • You have a nice office there with nice stuff now you should pay your tax bill or we can just take your stuff and call it even.

  • Spain. The country that signs power purchasing agreements and then changes the laws so they can renege on their agreements.
  • A company like Google surely has all of their records online. I can understand a raid 20 years ago when there would be a wall of file cabinets to cart away, but what do they expect to get today? A thumbdrive?

  • So...Google. Are you still against Brexit then?
  • Hi!

    We're you're friendly representatives from the government!

    We want you to know your business in this country is important. We recognize you have the ability to do business in any country you wish. We are committed to supporting business and technology here.

    At the moment we believe you may have some money located at this facility. In order to best serve you we would like to inspect the money at our offsite location. All resources will be returned in a timely fashion after everything has been accou

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato

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