THE FRENCH tax authorities have embarked on a €1bn (£830m) tax claim against Google, following an investigation of the search engine’s offices in Paris.
It drove down its French liabilities by diverting revenue through a Dutch-registered intermediary and then a Bermuda-registered subsidiary, Google Ireland Limited, before reporting it in Ireland, the Daily Mail reports.
France, under its socialist government, is one of the highest-taxed nations on Earth, with the top rate of income tax currently standing at 75%.
The AFP news agency reports Google France generated €192.9m revenue in 2012, paying €6.5m on €8.3m profit.
Google has been in the firing line over its tax affairs in the UK, too, with Public Accounts Committee chair Margaret Hodge attacking the company for shifting its profits to its European headquarters in Dublin.
Since President Hollande (pictured) was elected in 2012, unemployment in France has hit 11%, while foreign investment in 2013 – his first full year in charge – declined 77%.
In light of those figures, France has embarked on a campaign to clamp down on multinational companies shifting profits out of the country to lower-tax jurisdictions.
HMRC is continuing to ramp up the number of raids on premises it carries out as part of criminal investigations, searching 761 properties in the last year
Lord Howard Leigh of Hurley discusses the government’s initiatives to mitigate tax avoidance and evasion
Top 50+50: Demand for tax advisory services remains high, but fee pressure is expected in relation to compliance services
The demand for tax advisory services remains high and this looks to continue; but fee pressure is expected in relation to compliance services as the “Making Tax Digital” initiative is rolled out,
While some resistance to change is to be expected, the degree of controversy surrounding HMRC's Making Tax Digital proposals has surprised the government