08:03 GMT +325 April 2018
Listen Live
    People are silhouetted as they pose with laptops in front of a screen projected with a Google logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica October 29, 2014.

    'Insult to Taxpayers:' UK Shadow Chancellor Slams Google's Tax Avoidance

    © REUTERS / Dado Ruvic
    Business
    Get short URL
    110

    A number of US tech giants have long been utilizing complex arrangements to minimize their corporate tax bills in the UK and other countries they operate in. Although, in most cases, these arrangements are legal, they have drawn criticism as they are depriving public services and other government spending endeavors of millions of dollars per year.

    The Labour Party’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell hit out at Google and other tech giants for not paying their fair share of tax.

    “This has become a yearly insult to those taxpayers who play by the rules and can’t afford an army of accountants to lower their tax liability. There will be millions of hardworking people in this country who are struggling to make ends meet, and will look at the paltry amounts these big companies like Google are paying and rightly be disgusted,” Labour’s shadow chancellor was quoted as saying by an official party press release.

    He made the comments shortly after the company’s annual accounts revealed it paid just £50 million (around US$70.3 billion at the current GBP/USD exchange rate) in annual taxes in the UK despite achieving sales of £5.7 billion (US$8 billion.)

    READ MORE: France to Sue Google, Apple Over 'Abusive Trade Practices' — Economy Minister

    Shadow Chancellor McDonnell – who also serves as an MP for the Hayes and Harlington constituency – blamed the British government for failing to tackle the situation and promised that his party would tackle tax evasion and avoidance if they entered office.

    “The problem goes to the top of this government. The Tories’ failure to clamp down on tax avoidance has meant that large multinational companies are paying what they want, rather than their fair share. The next Labour government will introduce our Tax Transparency and Enforcement Programmed, and truly clamp down on tax avoidance and evasion.”

    Last year, Facebook payed less than US$10 million in corporation tax in the UK, despite its turnover from its operations in Britain exceeding US$1 billion. Facebook’s ties to disgraced data firm Cambridge Analytica has further accentuated calls for the company and others to pay more tax in the EU.  

    Google’s annual accounts show that the firm employs over 3,000 people as part of its UK operation, and a company spokesman said they are investing in new offices in the country to employ another 7,000 members of staff.

    Although these companies employ a sizeable number of people in Britain, who pay income tax on their earnings, many still believe that they should also contribute by paying more corporation tax. 

    READ MORE: Sweden Repeals Facebook's Tax Breaks, Slaps Network With Sizeable Bill

    Google's tax avoidance has drawn criticism on social media from both politicians and ordinary Brits.

     

    Related:

    Google in Deep Trouble: Company Risks Being Broken Up by European Union
    Google May Roll Out Its Own Blockchain-Based Technology
    Google Plans to Boost Staffing in Russia - Company Chief in Moscow
    Bitcoin Falls Below $8,000 After Google Vows to Ban Cryptocurrency Ads
    France to Sue Google, Apple Over 'Abusive Trade Practices' - Economy Minister
    Google Up in Arms Against Cryptocurrencies
    Google Busted Helping Pentagon in Developing AI for Drones – Reports
    'Google Tax': UK Cracks Down on Tax Evasion by Tech Giants
    Unnerved Norwegian Media Demand 'UK Style' Tax on Google, Facebook to Stay Alive
    Not OK? Google Caves In to Italian Tax Authorities Over $330Mln Tax Arrears Bill
    Tags:
    tax avoidance, social media, tax, UK Government, Google, Labour party, Facebook, John McDonnell, Europe, United States, United Kingdom
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment