France says Google owes the country €1.6 billion euros in back taxes and it is intending to collect the outstanding debt from the Internet search giant. Google has recently become a target by several countries over its corporate tax practices which elaborately play the tax systems from multiple countries. The tax practices of Google are not uncommon maneuvers from businesses making cash hand over fist and who want to keep as much of that cash as humanly possible. A Google France spokesperson told Reuters that Google obeys all tax laws in countries in which it operates in and that was the extent of their reaction to the matter.
“As far as our country is concerned, back taxes concerning this company amount to 1.6 billion euros,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
Just a few short months ago Google struck a “sweetheart” deal with the United Kingdom to settle its back taxes dispute in that country. Many found the deal less than satisfactory given the amount of money Google made in profits, it rang as a little unbalanced. France isn’t prepared to make such a deal with Google though, the idea of a settlement not in France’s advantage was ruled out by Finance Minister Michel Sapin.
While the argument is sure to rage on over how taxes should be fairly paid by corporations operating in foreign countries, nothing will really change until tax codes are changed. While the steps Google is taking to protect its earnings from taxes doesn’t settle well with some people. It is the same tax strategy the wealthiest people in the world use everyday, from oil companies to Hollywood stars and starlets. It seems like a lot of work but when you’re making hundreds of millions and billions of dollars, it’s probably worth the extra effort to those companies.Source: Venturebeat