Google nearly doubles UK tax payments, but criticism persists

by Calum Fuller

More from this author

01 Oct 2013

  • Comments
Google Logo

GOOGLE NEARLY DOUBLED its tax payments to HM Revenue & Customs following a year of criticism over its corporate tax structure.

The search engine paid £11.6m to HMRC in the year to 31 March 2013, up from £6m the year before, the Daily Mail reports.

But criticism persists over the way the company designates its UK operation as primarily marketing, with its Irish operation taking most of the profits before channelling them to Bermuda.

Corporate tax avoidance is now high up the international agenda, with the G20 and G8 groups of leading economies pledging to tackle the practice of companies diverting profits from where they are earned and into lower-tax jurisdictions.

Google said it follows all tax rules in every country where it operates and that it does not pay much tax in Britain because its profits are not generated by its UK employees.

A Google spokesperson defended the amount of tax the company paid in the UK.

In a statement, they said: "Like most multinationals we pay the bulk of our £1.2bn corporate tax bill where our business originated, in our case the US. That's a rate of more than 19%, roughly what a UK-based company would pay.

"We're also a significant contributor to the UK economy, having created over 2,000 jobs.

"This year alone we've invested more than £300m in property, and tax related to our UK operations totalled more than £150m."

Google has come under heavy fire from both the public and government for its tax practices, and was described as "evil" by Public Acccounts Committee chair and Labour MP Margaret Hodge, in reference to the company's "don't be evil" mantra.

Visitor comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Add your comment

We won't publish your address

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms & Conditions

Your comment will be moderated before publication

  • Send



Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, London, Permanent, Part Time, £60,000 pro rata




Get the latest financial news sent directly to your inbox

  • Best Practice
  • Business
  • Daily Newsletter
  • Essentials


Search for jobs
Click to search our database of all the latest accountancy roles

Create a profile
Click to set up your profile and let the best recruiters find you

Jobs by email
Sign up to receive regular updates with the latest roles suitable for you



Why budgeting fails: One management system is not enough

If budgeting is to have any value at all, it needs a radical overhaul. In today's dynamic marketplace, budgeting can no longer serve as a company's only management system; it must integrate with and support dedicated strategy management systems, process improvement systems, and the like. In this paper, Professor Peter Horvath and Dr Ralf Sauter present what's wrong with the current approach to budgeting and how to fix it.


iXBRL: Taking stock. Looking forward

In this white paper CCH provide checklists to help accountants and finance professionals both in practice and in business examine these issues and make plans. Also includes a case study of a large commercial organisation working through the first year of mandatory iXBRL filing.