UK Government Report: Google’s Tax Position “Deeply Unconvincing”

google-legal-lawThe Guardian reported yesterday that a UK Parliamentary Committee found, essentially, Google had improperly avoided paying taxes in the UK by routing sales through Ireland where corporate tax rates are considerably lower. It’s unclear precisely what the immediate legal fallout will be; however the UK report recommends a more formal inquiry.

Committee chair MP Margaret Hodge said that Google had “brazenly” sought to avoid taxes in the UK by channeling sales through its Irish subsidiary. However, the UK report determined, based on its investigation and information from “whistleblowers,” that  Irish employees were merely “processing the bills” and that sales were actually happening in the UK.

Google generated £11.5 billion (approximately $18 billion) in UK revenue during the years investigated (2006 to 2011). However, the company paid a very modest £10 million ($15.7 million) in taxes during that same period.

Google maintains it complies with all UK tax laws. Google isn’t alone in taking advantage of Ireland’s tax advantages. Apple, Facebook and Amazon equally make use of its favorable corporate tax rates.

The Parliamentary Committee report does appear to be a  prelude to a formal investigation of Google, and perhaps other online companies with similar tax minimization strategies.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Business Issues | Google: Critics | Google: International | Google: Legal


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn

Marketing Day:

Get the top marketing stories daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Marketing Land on Twitter @marketingland Like Marketing Land on Facebook Follow Marketing Land on Google+ Subscribe to Our Feed! Join our LinkedIn Group Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Marketing News!

Marketing Day is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!