After Moving Money Around, Google Paid Tiny Amount in European Taxes
Google continues to expand its use of legal-but-questionable tax shenanigans as a way to minimize its overseas tax burden.
According to Irish media reports Friday, in 2013 Google Ireland Limited paid an effective tax rate of just 0.16 percent on €17 billion ($22.8 billion) revenue, which came to a mere €27.7 million ($37.2 million). Google paid €11.7 billion in “administrative expenses,” which The Irish Times reports “largely refers to royalties paid to other Google entities, some of which are ultimately controlled from tax havens such as Bermuda.”
David Wilson, a London-based Google spokesman, confirmed the Irish figures to Ars.
Google and many other tech firms have recently come under increased scrutiny for using a quirky Irish tax law arrangement that allows organizations to incorporate in Ireland but legally route money through other jurisdictions, such as the Netherlands. It’s all done in the name of drastically reducing tax burdens. The general term is called “transfer pricing,” although specific tactics involve colorful names like the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich.”