As part of a call for a global crackdown on tax avoidance, it has been revealed that Google is one of the biggest culprits. In 2011, the search giant pushed 80 per cent of its revenue, some £6 billion, through the island of Bermuda, thereby avoiding over £1 billion in taxes.
“I do believe we all have a common interest in being able to tell our taxpayers who work hard and pay their fair share of taxes that we will make sure others do the same,” PM David Cameron wrote in an open letter to the G8.
The Telegraph points out that Google has never made much of a fuss about its taxes, seeming quite proud in some instances for its ability to pay so little. Eric Schmidt even famously called what the company does, simply, “capitalism.” However, Google’s UK head, Matt Brittin, took a more aggressive stance, suggesting that Google merely follows the rules set out by government: “Google plays by the rules set by politicians,” he said. “The only people who really have choices are politicians who set the tax rates.”
Cameron has pledged to spend much of this year’s G8 summit – set to take place in Northern Ireland in June – discussing ways to improve the global economy. While he’s made it clear that the UK remains his priority, he will encourage worldwide leaders to push for a global boost to finances, not just a local one.
Starbucks has already received a lot of flack in the UK for not paying its “fair share,” of taxes, eventually caving to pressure and announcing it would pay an extra £20 million over the next two years.
KitGuru Says: While I somewhat agree with the crackdown on tax avoidance, it all seems a bit self-righteous considering not that long ago we were looking at a huge number of politicians that were claiming massively undeserved expenses. Taking money from the country seems more of a crime than those that avoid giving money to it.