GLOBE TROTTING Eric Schmidt has told the BBC that he is still absolutely fine with the amount of tax that his company pays in the UK.
In an interview to be played on the BBC's Radio 4 later today, Schmidt will say that his company is a welcome participant in a tax system that doesn't so much punish as promote itself to potential profiteers.
While Google paid just £6m in corporation tax on profits of £395m in the UK, that doesn't bother Schmidt. "Britain has been a very good market for us," he will say.
"We empower literally billions of pounds of start-ups through our advertising network and so forth. And we're a key part of the electronic commerce expansion of Britain, which is driving a lot of economic growth for the country."
In defence of how much tax his company does pay Schmidt will say that Google would be glad to abide by whatever laws are applicable in whatever country.
It just so happens that the tax system in the UK is quite a comfy one. "I think the most important thing to say about our taxes is that we fully comply with the law and we'll obviously, should the law change, we'll comply with that as well," he will add.
Google's tax payments have been watercooler chat since it was revealed last year that it didn't pay much and wasn't in any hurry to pay more.
"We pay lots of taxes; we pay them in the legally prescribed ways," Schmidt said in December.
"I am very proud of the structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate. It's called capitalism. We are proudly capitalistic. I'm not confused about this." µ
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