UK Google Tax Deal Included Share Options SchemeAdded: Friday, February 26th, 2016
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It recently became known that 1/4 of the £130m recovered by HM Revenue & Customs related to Google’s share options scheme. According to filings by Google’s UK subsidiary, £33m of the funds paid to the Treasury followed a wrangle over share options handed to staff, which Google had argued were exempt from the British tax.
Google’s accounts show that the UK government only managed to claw back less than £100m in corporation tax from the company for the past decade instead of the £130m the chancellor claimed. Both MPs and foreign governments have criticized the tax deal, claiming that it was wrong to allow Google to generate billions of pounds in profits from its British activities while paying little corporation tax. The Treasury Select Committee promised to examine the deal, while some believe that there is an important distinction between a settlement for unpaid corporation tax based on the tech giant’s profits and the need to pay tax on share options for staff. Although the government dressed this deal up as a “major victory”, in reality it is a defeat.
A few weeks ago, Google finally settled a long-running tax dispute with HM Revenue & Customs following a 6-year audit of its business in the United Kingdom. Like many other multinational corporations, the tech giant uses a complex web of subsidiaries that allows Google to divert profits from non-American businesses to the low-tax territory. According to some estimation, Google generated sales of £24bn in the United Kingdom over the past decade, but has reported profit margins of 25%-30%, giving an estimated profit of around £7.2bn. Although the company already agreed to pay about £70m in addition to the £130m settlement, its effective tax rate remains at the level of 2%-3%, while headline rate of corporation tax is 20%.
Friday, February 26th, 2016No comments
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