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Google in the spotlight again for questionable tax reporting

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Recent arguments concerning the way in which Google reports its income tax have developed between the company and members of the British Parliament. Google’s European headquarters is in Dublin, and any purchase or transaction must go through this office rather than various destinations. Concerns about Google not following this procedure arose when Margaret Hodge, Chair of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, received a tip-off that  Google was selling advertisements and had invoiced customers within the UK. The Head of Sales in Northern Europe, Matt Brittin, attempted to set the record straight by assuring Parliament that any European advertiser would deal directly with Ireland, and the UK cannot execute these sorts of transactions. According to Ms. Hodge, in 2011 Google paid 6 million pounds in UK corporation tax, where their sales were worth 3.2 billion pounds, making it clear sales took place in the UK. This isn’t the first time that Google has been criticised about the handling of its tax affairs. Other global giants such as Amazon and Starbucks have been accused of unethical tax practises in the past.

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