Google sticks up for itself amidst criticism of its slimline UK tax bill
Google UK paid £6m to the Treasury in 2011 on a UK turnover of £395m.
So it is with raised eyebrows that The Telegraph ran a piece this morning from Google's Matt Brittin that boldly stated Google shouldn't pay much tax in the UK because it does most of its development in America.
"Although we are steadily building a team of talented software engineers in London, the leadership and centre of gravity of product development is still in the US. It's why Google, which was developed in America, pays the majority of its taxes there," wrote Mr Brittin.
When hoiked up in front of the Public Accounts Committee earlier this month, Google was told that while it wasn't doing anything illegal it was being immoral. Amazon and Starbucks had similar accusations levelled at them.
Perhaps Google should consider that it isn't about where you develop technology, it is about where you make your money. And a £6m tax bill from a £395m turnover doesn't tally.
Google openly admits that it runs its European business out of Ireland to take advantage of its friendlier tax system. As do many other companies. Google also admits that parts of the company are registered in the tax haven of Bermuda.
While the company offers so much to web users without asking for a penny, it is wrong that it should be allowed to pay such a paltry amount of tax in the UK.
But then it all comes down to Google's argument - it isn't doing anything illegal. And immorality is, apparently, permissible.
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