Print 64 comment(s) - last by BRB29.. on May 30 at 9:56 AM

He said Google pays exactly what it's supposed to pay

The United Kingdom has been looking into the tax-paying practices of large companies, and Google's Eric Schmidt doesn't see the big deal. 

Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, defended Google -- which was criticized for profit shifting and dodging larger tax payments -- saying that the UK should change its tax system if it wants large companies to pay more or less each year. 

"What we are doing is legal," said Schmidt, referring to Google's UK tax payments. "I'm rather perplexed by this debate, which has been going in the UK for some time, because I view taxes as not optional. I view that you should pay the taxes that are legally required. It's not a debate. You pay the taxes.

"If the British system changes the tax laws, then we will comply. If the taxes go up, we will pay more, if they go down, we will pay less. That is a political decision for the democracy that is the United Kingdom."

Earlier this year, it was reported that Google avoided paying about $1.6 billion USD (£1 billion) in UK taxes. Google sent £6 billion through Bermuda over the course of the 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.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the UK, said that companies like Google are immorally minimizing tax bills and need to be stopped.

Just last month, the UK openly stated that it was concerned with the fact that Google only paid £6 million ($7.8 million USD) in UK corporation tax. Schmidt defended Google at that time as well, saying that Google "empowers literally billions of pounds of start-ups through our advertising network" and is "a key part of the electronic commerce expansion of Britain, which is driving a lot of economic growth for the country."

Google isn't the only large company under the microscope. Apple is also being questioned for profit shifting, where it made an estimated £6B ($9.50B USD) in Britain last year, but paid only £10M ($15.8M USD) in taxes.  Apple was able to do this because of the British tax code's rule that largely exempts companies based in Ireland from paying British taxes.

Apple CEO Tim Cook offered tax reform proposals to U.S. Congress at a Senate hearing last Tuesday in an effort to bring back foreign earnings to the United States. Furthermore, he's suggesting that this money be invested in research and development and creating jobs in the U.S. 

Source: BBC News

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He's right
By Dribble on 5/28/2013 10:24:31 AM , Rating: 2
The MP's currently blaming google for not paying enough tax are the ones that created the system to allow them not to pay the tax in the first place. They do this because they bow to big company pressure as companies say they will leave UK if they have to pay too much tax, and because half the MP's are on the board of directors of those companies (or will be as soon as they finish being MP's).

Hence they put together a stupidly complex tax system which means the public think that everyone has to pay tax, but in-fact it's full of loopholes that allow big companies to avoid it.

Totally not google's fault for obeying the law and 100% the last few governments faults making a tax system that means big companies don't need to pay.

RE: He's right
By Amiga500 on 5/28/2013 10:44:40 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely correct.

The entire UK tax code should be re-written - on no more than 5 pages.

Cut all exemptions and this would be a straightforward matter.

RE: He's right
By Bubbacub on 5/28/2013 12:47:04 PM , Rating: 2
i guess the issue is the way that companies like google (don't know if google has or not - but other companies will have) bribe/make campaign contributions to get the loopholes put into law.

if there was a mechanism to stop this kind of corruption then the loopholes would disapear.

unfortunately the laws and system is made to protect and enshrine the rights of politicians to make money at the expense of the public

RE: He's right
By BRB29 on 5/28/2013 1:02:04 PM , Rating: 2
There is, it's called voting. Stop voting for the retards with the big campaign budget. Do research and vote for people with a real plan. Then check their progress and demand answers/results. Politicians won't care about their promises if you don't care about it after you elected them.

RE: He's right
By Motoman on 5/28/2013 4:20:50 PM , Rating: 2
Stupid people elect corrupt officials. And we are stupid.

Democracy: a system by which the people are guaranteed a government no better than they deserve.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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