Big tech, big tax dodger

Google made £1.6 billion in revenue in the UK during the past year, but paid only £44 million in corporation tax, while the average Google employee earned £234,000 last year as the company’s share price climbed.  

Google’s tax fell from the £66 million paid in 2018, after Google UK reported a fall in profits due to the hiring of 800 extra workers. The company still made £1.6 billion in revenue last year, up from £1.2 billion in 2018, leading to the generous payouts for its 4,439 employees.  

Google’s European operation has its headquarters in Dublin, where taxes are lower. About 137 governments are trying to come up with an agreement on how to get tech  giants to pay more tax on the products and services they sell, rather than on their profits, which companies can register in low-tax jurisdictions.

Britain is planning a digital services tax, introducing a 2 per cent sales duty that may raise £1.5 billion over four years. But Google’s advertising revenue is thought to be four times the £5.5 billion that has been booked. The 2 per cent Digital Services Tax will barely scratch the surface.

A Google spokeswoman said: “We pay more than 80 per cent of our corporate income tax in the US, which is our home country. We also pay all of the tax that is due in the UK. We strongly support the OECD’s work to develop a new international framework for how multinational companies are taxed.”  ( Duh! Ed.) 

Dame Margaret Hodge, a former chairwoman of the public accounts committee, described the situation as a joke told Mail.   Paul Monaghan, chief executive of Fair Tax Mark, said: “Once again, it seems like Google are writing their own rules in the UK. Income is up but corporation tax charges are down. That’s before we get to the puzzle of how they continue to get away with booking so little of their UK advertising revenue through their UK subsidiary.” (Tom Knowles and AlexRalph, April 08 2020,  The Times).

What has this to do with Epicureanism?  Equity and fairness. Period!

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