Google Avoids Paying $1.6 Billion USD In Taxes, UK PM Speaks Out
January 2, 2013 11:32 AM
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David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the UK, said that companies like Google are immorally minimizing tax bills
Google has managed to skip paying about $1.6 billion USD (£1 billion)
by way of the island Bermuda -- and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom isn't happy.
Google sent £6 billion through Bermuda over the course of last year, which halved its 2011 tax bill. In fact, Google funneled 80 percent of its global revenue through the island and ended up paying about £1 billion less to the government.
Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said this "is called capitalism."
“We pay lots of taxes; we pay them in the legally prescribed ways,” said Schmidt. “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.”
David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the UK, said that companies like Google are immorally minimizing tax bills and need to be stopped. He even wrote a letter to fellow leaders of the G8 requesting a global crackdown on tax avoidance for large companies such as Google and Starbucks.
“I do believe we all have a common interest in being able to tell our taxpayers who work hard and pay their fair share of taxes that we will make sure others do the same,” wrote Cameron in an open letter to the G8.
Google's UK Head Matt Brittin said politicians are the ones who set tax rates, and that Google is playing by their rules.
Google funneled £2.6 billion of British revenue through Bermuda, which cut its UK tax bill by £200 million.
In April of last year, it was reported that
Apple made $9.5 billion USD
in Britain for 2011, but only paid 0.16 percent in taxes. Amazon was also targeted for its
headquarters in the tiny European Union nation of Luxembourg and Google's placement in
Ireland with subsidiaries in the Caribbean and Luxembourg for more tax dodging gains.
The New York Times
blamed Apple for dodging billions in taxes
in a lengthy article last year.
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Let's look at the big picture
1/2/2013 1:37:28 PM
I notice that many people here keep talking about what's "legal" versus illegal. It sounds to me like the same argument that Clinton had when he said he didn't have sex with Monica Lewinsky; she only gave him head. Still doesn't make it right, and if you're his wife there's not much difference.
There are also suggestions in this thread that if you want them to stop what they're doing "just make it illegal". The fact is you can't just make it illegal. Regular people don't have a voice in this country anymore; these huge businesses have purchased all of politicians to the point where they've just totally gamed the tax system. No politician, republican or democrat for the most part, is going to vote to stop these guys from funneling their money overseas. There used to be a time when you could shame them into doing what some would consider the "right" thing. None of them have shame anymore.
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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