In a wave of public pressure, Google just paid $185 million (roughly £130 million) in back taxes to the United Kingdom. The U.K’s conservative government has cited a recent agreement with Google and the back taxes it has accrued since 2005.
Though there is still worry that the search company is getting off a bit easily, in light of the $6.5 billion or so the company made in sales in the UK in 2014. One such worrier, Labor MP John McDonnell had this to say in a recent interview:
“I’m really worried about this settlement. It looks like another sweetheart deal.”
Of course, Google isn’t the only tech company to participate in such tax avoidances and although it’s somewhat of a moral debate in the United Kingdom, the debate continues on the global scale as well. Even so, U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne told The Guardian that companies still have to pay their dues.
“I want the message to go out that in Britain taxes are low, but they have to be paid.”
Sadly, even with other companies participating in tax avoidance, Google’s become the poster child for the issue, even if it’s doing so unwillingly. That said, the search giant is trying to get ahead of the negative publicity by paying its taxes. According to Google Europe head Matt Brittin, paying these taxes will allow the company to focus on other aspects.
“I think it’s important as a company that you’re following the rules and you’re seen to be doing so, because then you can focus on what companies should be doing to bring value to an economy.”
What are your thoughts on companies participating in the tax avoidance game? Should they be taken to task or is it a part of doing business? Let us know on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments section below.
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