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Google allegedly dodged $2bn in taxes

Internet giant is accused of tax avoidance
Tue Dec 11 2012, 10:24

INTERNET GIANT Google allegedly shifted $9.8bn in revenue to Bermuda in order to avoid paying $2bn in US taxes.

Google reportedly used common revenue funneling techniques to avoid paying US taxes. News of the tax dodging comes as governments around the world are decrying corporate tax avoidance.

"When corporations skip out on their taxes, the rest of us are left to pick up their tab," said tax and budget advocate for the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Dan Smith in a statement on corporate tax dodging.

"Right now, this kind of tax dodging is perfectly legal, but it's not fair and it's time to put an end to it."

Google used tax avoidance techniques known as the "Double Irish" and the "Dutch Sandwich" to avoid its tax bills. The techniques involve sending profits through an Irish subsidiary to a Dutch firm which sends the revenue to another Irish firm headquartered in a tax haven like Bermuda.

The legal techniques are used to reduce corporate tax burdens by taking advantage of a number of corporate loopholes found in both Ireland and the Netherlands.

Bloomberg reports that Google used the tax avoidance techniques to cut its tax bill in half. While tax avoidance is a common practice for corporations, Google has continued to be a prime target of tax dodging complaints.

Corporate taxation has been a big issue for politicians this year. Last September, the US Senate grilled HP and Microsoft on allegations of tax avoidance. Google and Amazon were also recently called out for not paying enough tax by Members of Parliament.

Google has declined to comment on the reports. µ


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