Atac fiscal la Google
Google a evitat plata impozitului pe profit în Marea Britanie, iar reputaţia sa nu va fi refăcută până când compania nu va începe să achite ceea ce datorează, se arată într-un raport al unui comitet al Parlamentului de la Londra.
Google a fost evaluată în mod special, Matt Brittin, unul dintre directorii importanţi ai companiei în Europa, fiind audiat timp de două ore.
The UK is a key market for Google but the enormous profit derived is out of reach of the UK’s tax system. Google generated US $18 billion revenue from the UK between 2006 and 2011. Information on the UK profits derived from this revenue is not available but the company paid the equivalent of just US $16 million of UK corporation taxes in the same period.
Google defends its tax position by claiming that its sales of advertising space to UK clients take place in Ireland—an argument which we find deeply unconvincing on the basis of evidence that, despite sales being billed from Ireland, most sales revenue is generated by staff in the UK. It is quite clear to us that sales to UK clients are the primary purpose, responsibility and result of its UK operation, and that the processing of sales through Google Ireland has no purpose other than to avoid UK corporation tax.
This elaborate corporate construct has damaged Google’s reputation in the UK and undermined confidence in the effectiveness of HMRC. In contrast to evidence given to us previously, Google has also conceded that its engineers in the UK are contributing to product development and creating economic value in the UK.
Recommendation: Public confidence in Google will only be restored when it establishes a corporate structure that ensures Google pays tax where it generates profit. This should be addressed as a matter of urgency by Google and other companies with a similar corporate structure—the Committee will continue to pursue this issue over the course of the Parliament.