Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×
Businesses Google The Almighty Buck The Courts United Kingdom

Google Agrees To Pay 130M UK Pounds (~ $185M) In Back Taxes (telegraph.co.uk) 87

whoever57 writes: Google UK has come to an agreement with HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) under which it will recognize a larger share of its UK sales in the UK, instead of funnelling them through the Republic of Ireland. In addition, Google will pay 130M UK Pounds in back taxes representing tax on sales since 2005.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google Agrees To Pay 130M UK Pounds (~ $185M) In Back Taxes

Comments Filter:
  • And obviously, Ireland will rebate on the taxes... since the income is being realized in the UK instead of Ireland, retroactively.

    Right?

    Right?

    • In 2013 Google paid about €28M (~$37M) in taxes in Ireland on their whole European operation (€17B), not just the UK - 0.16% of revenue. So I'm not sure how much of a rebate they might reasonably expect.
  • Google will pay 130M UK Pounds in back taxes representing tax on sales since 2005.

    Isn't UK worried about bankrupting Google into going out of business?

    The agreement, which comes after a six-year HMRC investigation

    Is it at all possible that they spent more than 130M worth investigating this?

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      Heh no kidding. Google might have to resort to scrounging in the employee break room couches for that much money! They're either not doing a particularly good job of evading taxes, or they're doing a really good job of evading taxes.
      • They're either not doing a particularly good job of evading taxes, or they're doing a really good job of evading taxes.

        Most likely, they are doing this because if realized income on auctions for AdWords counts as a payment negotiation taking place in the UK when the auction goes to a winner for a particular AdWords auction, even though such things as bid amount and so on are automated "negotiations".

        If I were cynical, I'd say they were making agreements like this in order to act as a market barrier to entry for competitors: pay a small enough amount that it doesn't hurt Google, but a large enough amount that matching it wou

    • by Malc ( 1751 )

      They can afford to build a billion quid campus in King's Cross. 130MM doesn't sound like they're paying enough taxes to me.

      http://uk.businessinsider.com/... [businessinsider.com]

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Google took $66 billion in revenue last year alone. 9% of that was from the UK. Given that their net is reported as about 10% of that (which may also be "creatively" reported), thats 660M profit last year alone from the UK. This is meant to be 11 years back taxes, so this seems far too low. Sounds like nothing more than a face saving token gesture in an attempt to keep the proles from grumbling about US corporations leeching money out of the UK, while at the same time allowing them to continue with nothing

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          I am taking your statements at face value and as being truthful. I do, technically, own shares in Google and can look at their financial filings but I am taking you at your word. Now, I have a few dollars. My account was actually one of the "lead" accountants for my State's Revenue Department. That's why I hired her. She's really, really good. I have survived two audits. I do not personally but I do technically do quite a bit to reduce my tax burden - entirely lawful.

          That, claiming that a mere 10% is net, o

  • It's either £ or GBP, take your pick.

    • It's either £ or GBP, take your pick.

      Or indeed £. Preview is your friend, slashcode is not.

      • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

        Or indeed £. Preview is your friend, slashcode is not.

        I can preview £ all I like it still comes out £. If you have a suggestion as to how to avoid this I'd be keen to hear it.

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Saturday January 23, 2016 @06:05AM (#51356181)

    Google has come to an agreement.
    vs
    Google has agreed to a settlement.
    vs
    Google has been found guilty and are forced...

    What is the point of this? It seems very clear that this is some kind of feel good measure, a public gesture of good will. I wonder if this is part of reducing the heat on governments to close the taxation loopholes that allow this kind of activity to be legal in the first place.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      How about google executives responding from their prison cells via their lawyers. Now that is the proper headline for multi-million dollar tax cheats. Keep in mind, mass cheating in taxes, results in austerity, where the poorest pay for the richest cheating by suffering and dying as a result of reduced social services and all those involved know this, their greed is killing people.

      • Now that is the proper headline for multi-million dollar tax cheats.

        That's my point. There is no tax cheat. Other than Apple in one country all of these bastards are actually obeying the letter (but not the spirit) of the taxation laws. Which is why it's troubling that Google "reached an agreement" rather than "laws were changed and google was forced".

        What this means is that nothing has been fixed.

        • Other than Apple in one country all of these bastards are actually obeying the letter (but not the spirit) of the taxation laws.

          If that were the actual spirit of the tax laws... the letter would be different.

          Because the letter of the law is what it is, one has to expect that the letter is an accurate embodiment of the *actual* "spirit", as opposed to the "spirit" that everyone pays lip service to.

          If this were not the case, the people making the laws would have to be pretty critically stupid.

          And if that were the case... what does this say about the intelligence of the people who elected them? They don't even have the disadvantage of

          • Because the letter of the law is what it is, one has to expect that the letter is an accurate embodiment of the *actual* "spirit", as opposed to the "spirit" that everyone pays lip service to.

            Splitting hairs. All laws are defined by what they are enforced to mean.

            The "spirit" of the law, last I checked, is generally understood to be the intent of those who wrote/approved the law.

          • If that were the actual spirit of the tax laws... the letter would be different.

            With GAAR in the UK that's no longer true.

            Accordingly, it is essential to appreciate that, so far as the operation of the GAAR is concerned, Parliament has decisively rejected this [any legal arrangement is allowed] approach, and has imposed an overriding statutory limit on the extent to which taxpayers can go in trying to reduce their tax bill. That limit is reached when the arrangements put in place by the taxpayer to achieve

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            Because the letter of the law is what it is, one has to expect that the letter is an accurate embodiment of the *actual* "spirit", as opposed to the "spirit" that everyone pays lip service to.

            No, it's pretty obvious that isn't the case. Most of these loopholes are clearly designed to take advantage of things that the people drafting the law didn't think of. They then become normalized and the people abusing them scream blue murder if anyone tries to fix the holes, claiming that it will destroy their apparently unprofitable and non-viable businesses.

            It's obvious how we got to this situation. The tax system is extremely complex and has been added to and patch up endlessly over the years to deal wi

            • It's obvious how we got to this situation. The tax system is extremely complex and has been added to and patch up endlessly over the years to deal with specific issues.

              Perhaps when the government wants to give money to a special interest, instead of changing the tax code from something simple to something extremely complex, they should leave the tax code simple, and make an explicit grant of funds.

              So if you wanted to, say, encourage Twitter to locate its offices in San Francisco, instead of giving them a tax break in law, they'd have to pay exactly the same taxes as everyone else, and then there's have to be a separate "Thank yo for locating in San Francisco" grant to off

          • Because the letter of the law is what it is, one has to expect that the letter is an accurate embodiment of the *actual* "spirit", as opposed to the "spirit" that everyone pays lip service to.

            Letters and spirit are in perfect harmony for a local company doing local business. They make sense on an island, they work well in isolation. The problem is that the letter of the law combined with the letters of laws of other nations become incompatible with the spirit.

            See it doesn't matter if the entire world changes their laws to agree with the tax havens, or if the tax havens change their laws to agree with the rest of the world. Both are just fine except that the existence of different definitions of

        • by dumky2 ( 2610695 )
          I agree. The fact that this is a "settlement" rather than an actual trial in court with a judgement means it's unclear whether any law was broken or whether it's just a game of bullying.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo AT world3 DOT net> on Saturday January 23, 2016 @08:15AM (#51356433) Homepage

        This is how tax works for large corporations in the UK:

        1. Pay accountant to obfuscate your tax liability

        2. Take head of HMRC out to an expensive restaurant and have the following conversion:

        CFO: How much tax do we owe?
        HMRC: I dunno, LOL.
        CFO: Our PR department says we need to pay at least a few mill or people might start to overcome their apathy. Alternatively you could spend years taking us to court and we would win anyway, cos our lawyers are top notch. Then we can do it again every single year.
        HMRC: A few mill sounds fine. I'm ordering dessert.
        CFO: No you aren't.

      • Keep in mind, mass cheating in taxes, results in austerity,

        That's true, but Google may have been acting in no worse faith than any other corporation. The laws are set up to permit the wealthy and corporations to avoid (not evade) taxes. Sometimes they get them a little wrong, and wind up evading instead of avoiding, but we should really not have systems that permit them to avoid more taxes than the little guy, anyway.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          They are not idiots, they knew exactly what their greed was doing and they were witnessing the outcomes, their response, meh fuck those idiots paying us and paying our taxes, more money for us. Shallow scum supported by corrupt governments, their greed killing people.

    • Google hasnt been found guilty of anything, as this isnt the result of a court case or judicial review - they have come to an agreement with HMRC on the basis that tax law is complicated and can be interpreted in many ways. The two parties came to an agreement and a mutual interpretation of the tax laws without having to involve an independent arbitrator (a judge).

      • Exactly, so next year they'll pay next to no tax again just like all other corporations do. My point is that this isn't good news. This is paying lipservice to the people who complain that corporations pay too little tax. It's a gift to shut up the critics, nothing more.

        • No, in April Google will pay taxes in the UK because the UK changed the law for the start of the 2015/2016 tax year as part of the Finance Bill 2015.

          No one should pay more tax than required by law, and until now its been possible to have the law require you to pay no taxes. The UK did the proper thing and changed the law to eliminate loopholes - until they did that, I was fine with Google et al paying no taxes.

          • by UpnAtom ( 551727 )

            This should be in the summary, not buried several comments deep, modded only to 3. Sorry, I haven't seen /. mod points in years else I'd have put you up to 4.

          • Are you certain about the timing? In 2015 tax dodging was a big issue in the G20 summit. Laws were passed, agreements were made, but for the most part there was a long grace period for existing tax dodgers. The loopholes are slowly closing and even Ireland has changed the low to prevent double Irish taxation but as of 2015 that applies to only new companies, it won't be applied to existing companies until 2020, which is also consistent with measures some other countries introduced.

            At least it's a step in th

    • I wish I could pay my taxes for just pennies on the dollar, but this is more like pennies on the hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars. And that's supposed to make up for what they cheated out of for TEN YEARS? This is donut money for Google. It's not money to them until the word starts with a "B."
      • cheated

        Before you can use that word you need to change the tax law. Google is not a charity and their shareholders would not take too kindly to voluntary overpayment of taxes.

Retirement means that when someone says "Have a nice day", you actually have a shot at it.

Working...