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Technology / AI and automation

Google faces fresh claims over tax ‘dodge’ in UK

The UK HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is initiating new lines of investigation into Google’s tax affairs upon interviewing the search major’s former executive who gave anonymous evidence to parliament.

According to Guardian, Barney Jones, who worked for Google between 2002 and 2006, surrendered thousands of electronic documents.

The documents reportedly reveal how Google’s London sales staff negotiated and signed contracts with British customers, and cash was paid into a UK bank account, while the deals were technically booked via its Dublin office to reduce its legal responsibilities.

Jones said that the tax officials had interviewed him and taken interest in his evidence.

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"I have handed over everything to HMRC and I am looking forward to finding out what they make of it. I really loved working for Google," Jones said.

"The company has got a strong tradition of being self-critical to make sure that they are consistent with their ideals. I see my allegations as simply being part of that process."

The current row revolves around Google’s use of its European headquarters in Dublin to reduce its tax bill in the UK.

According to reports, Google booked all UK sales through Ireland and handed HMRC only about £10m in corporation tax for the period 2006-11, while generating revenues of about $18bn.

In addition, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has asked Google in addition to several other high profile firms like Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.com to be fair on paying tax in the country.

Earlier, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) accused the search engine firm of manipulating its business in the UK to avoid paying taxes.
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CBR Staff Writer

CBR Online legacy content.