Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

UK Short-Changed. by Google Tax Deal

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

UK Short-Changed. by Google Tax Deal

Article excerpt

Byline: STATESIDE With US Editor Christopher Bucktin

DEATH and taxes, the two things in life no one can escape ...unless of course you're a large multi-billion dollar US conglomerate in the UK.

Like fellow American citizen Al Capone, companies such as Google, Apple, Amazon and Starbucks all know the importance of an expert accountant.

And while such businesses do nothing illegal, their avoidance of paying hundreds of millions of pounds in tax from the profits made from the UK is clearly unethical.

People and firms earning money in Britain should pay tax in Britain instead of transferring profits abroad to avoid their fair dues.

Only now in the wake of a growing uprising against such avoidance practices, the Government has begun to take action which last week saw Google agree to pay the UK treasury PS130 million in back taxes.

The deal ended a decade-long probe by authorities into whether the tech group had skirted its tax bill by allocating profits earned in the UK - its second biggest market - to its European base in Ireland, where tax rates are lower.

But while deluded George Osborne hailed it as a "major success", the truth is the only one smiling over the disgusting deal is Google.

Even the Chancellor's old pal Prime Minister David Cameron refused to endorse him, clearly embarrassed over the agreement. And when you consider the numbers involved it's clear to see why.

Three years ago while Google made PS3.4bn of revenues in the UK, it paid corporation tax of just PS20.4m on its enormous PS642million turnover.

Despite making so much on our shores it collected nearly all its profits in Dublin. And the company is not alone. A number of US technology companies, including Apple, Microsoft and Facebook, all use similar "Double Irish" structures.

The discovery in 2014 led to MP Margaret Hodge giving the head of Google Europe, Matt Brittin, a humiliating dressing down in the Commons telling him: "We are not accusing you of being illegal. …

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