Skip to main content

The Guardian | Tech | Google - January 31, 2016: Google Tax Deal "Not a Glorious Momment", Says Minister by Rajessv Syal.

Rajeev Syal
A senior government minister has admitted the tax settlement between Google and the UK government “was not a glorious moment”.

The admission by the business secretary, Sajid Javid, came as a senior executive from Google claimed he could not say how much UK profit has been generated by the technology firm in the past decade, or how many meetings had been held between the company’s executives and ministers.
It follows the announcement nine days ago that the government came to an agreement with Google in which £130m will be paid in back taxes covering the past decade.
There has been growing criticism of the firm and the government over the deal, which was negotiated between HMRC officials and Google.
George Osborne, the chancellor, initially labelled the agreement a “major success”, but Javid told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that he shared the feeling of many people that there was a sense of “injustice” with the deal.
“It wasn’t a glorious moment, when people look at these issues, but it is important, I think, to talk about also what the government is doing,” he said.
Javid was asked if he agreed it was unfair that a large corporation like Google could speak directly to the government and HMRC about its tax affairs while small- and medium-sized businesses don’t have that option available to them.
“I speak with thousands of companies, small- and medium-sized as well as of course large companies, and there is a sense of injustice with what they see,” he said.
“They do look at this and they say, ‘Look, I don’t operate all these multiple jurisdictions around the world, I can’t shift profits around, what about me, where’s the level playing field?’ and I share that sense and the sort of sense of unfairness that exists.”
Peter Barron, head of communications at Google across Europe, told the Andrew Marr Show he could not answer questions about Google’s profits over the past decade despite reports that it had made £7.2bn and therefore is paying less than 3% in corporation tax on its UK profits.
He said the firm pays corporation tax of 20% and claimed there had been no “sweetheart deal”.
“We have a settlement with HMRC, the government sets the law, HMRC enforces it and we follow it. The £130m was an additional tax. For the last 18 months we paid £42.6m. It [the UK] is our second biggest global market but identifying the added value in the UK is a difficult business,” Barron said.
Asked why Google paid its taxes in Ireland, which has significantly lower corporation tax, he said that most advertising deals were closed in Ireland.
“Corporation tax is not on sales or revenues, it is on profit. Identifying what the profit has been over the last 10 years is quite a business,” he said.
Google is expected to announce on Monday that it has amassed £30bn of profits from non-US sales in Bermuda, where companies are not liable to pay corporation tax. The UK is Google’s largest non-US market, accounting for 11% of its global revenues, according to documents filed in America.
The Observer revealed that the UK government has been privately lobbying the EU to remove Bermuda from an official blacklist.
Barron said the arrangement in Bermuda had no impact on the amount of tax it pays in the UK. “It’s very, very important to make it clear that the Bermuda arrangement has absolutely no bearing on the amount of tax that we pay in the UK. No bearing whatsoever,” he said.
When asked how much of the £30bn may have come from the UK, he said: “I don’t know the answer, I haven’t got the answer [at] my fingertips, except I would say that about 10% of global revenues come from the UK.”


Popular posts from this blog

Analysis | The Cybersecurity 202: How the shutdown could make it harder for the government to retain cybersecurity talent

By Joseph Marks 13-17 minutes THE KEY President Trump delivers an address about border security amid a partial government shutdown on Jan. 8. (Carolyn Kaster/AP) The partial government shutdown that's now in its 18th day is putting key cyber policy priorities on hold and leaving vital operations to a bare bones staff. But the far greater long-term danger may be the blow to government cyber defenders' morale, former officials warn. With the prospect of better pay and greater job security in the private sector, more government cyber operators are likely to decamp to industry, those former officials tell me, and the smartest cybersecurity graduates will look to industry rather than government to hone their skills. That’s especially dangerous, they say, considering the government’s struggle to recruit and retain skilled workers amid a nationwide shortage of cybersecurity talent. About 20 percent of staffers are furloughed at the De

Democrats call for investigation into Trump’s iPhone use after a report that China is listening:Analysis | The Daily 202 I The Washington Post. By James Hohmann _________________________________________________________________________________ President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping visit the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last November. (Andrew Harnik/AP) With Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve THE BIG IDEA: If Democrats win the House in two weeks, it’s a safe bet that one of the oversight hearings they schedule for early next year would focus on President Trump’s use of unsecured cellphones. The matter would not likely be pursued with anywhere near the gusto that congressional Republicans investigated Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. Leaders of the minority party have higher priorities . But Democratic lawmakers made clear Thursday morning that they will not ignore a New York Times report that Trump has refused to stop using iPhones in the White House, despite repeated warnings from U.S. intelligence offici

RTTNews: Morning Market Briefing.-Weekly Jobless Claims Edge Down To 444,000. May 13th 2010

Morning Market Briefing Thu May 13 09:01 2010   Commentary May 13, 2010 Stocks Poised For Lackluster Open Amid Mixed Market Sentiment - U.S. Commentary Stocks are on pace for a mixed start to Thursday's session, as a mostly upbeat jobs report continued to relieve the markets while some consternation regarding the European debt crisis remained on traders' minds. The major index futures are little changed, with the Dow futures down by 4 points. Full Article Economic News May 13, 2010 Weekly Jobless Claims Edge Down To 444,000 First-time claims for unemployment benefits showed another modest decrease in the week ended May 8th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, although the number of claims exceeded estimates due to an upward revision to the previous week's data. Full Article May 13, 2010 Malaysia's Decade High Growth Triggers Policy Tightening Malaysia's economy grew at the fastest pace in a decade in