February 11, 2016 by Iain Venn
UK Tax investigation hounds Google
If you believe everything you read in the press (and maybe) online, Google is evil and not paying enough tax on it’s UK sales (from Google AdWords etc) reports the BBC
Yet HMRC made the deal, after a long-term investigation, as well as a final negotiation.
If HMRC have failed (and this is yet to be confirmed at the time of writing) then perhaps this should have been established first, before bringing in an executive from Google to answer questions that were not really relevant to the investigation (i.e how much the executive was paid)
The panel were unprofessional in their questioning and at times, sarcastic and downright rude towards Matt Brittin.
It is clear the intention is to ‘make an example’ out of Google, but that seems a hardline to take, on the basis they have agreed to pay tax.
There are however question marks over Google using ‘loopholes’ to reduce their tax – but again – is this a matter for Google or the UK Treasury to address? How many overseas companies take advantage of the ‘UK tax ‘loopholes.’ Perhaps an investigation team’s time would be better spent looking at this rather than berating one of the few US brands in the UK right now who ARE paying tax.