Spanish authorities raid Google offices over tax

Spanish authorities raid Google offices over tax”

Leading newspaper El Pais and other media outlets said the searches at two Madrid offices were part of a tax evasion probe. Their Madrid office was raided by local authorities who claim to be investigating dubious tax arrangements within the company. The company was working with the tax authorities to answer all questions raised by them, the spokesperson said.

Google is not the only company to be under scrutiny for non-payment of tax; a year ago the chief executives of Google, Microsoft and Apple appeared before an Australian Senate committee.

Investigators were looking for "possible evidence of taxation in Spain that is less than what is appropriate given [ Google's] real activity in the country", a source involved in the investigation said.

For Google, it paid off: by moving $12 billion worldwide revenues to a shell company in Bermuda, the tech giant saved $2.4 billion in taxes across the globe, according to filings Google's Dutch subsidiary filed with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in February.

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Tax officials also struck at Google Campus in Madrid, the tech giant's Spanish startup company incubator which launched late previous year on the premises of a former factory dating back to the nineteenth century. That raid had been planned in secret for almost a year, and Google may be facing a $1.8 billion fine (€1.6BN) in France.

The threat of legal action-coupled with new tax rules proposed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and a new "diverted profits tax" in the United Kingdom -has also raised pressure on companies to change their tax structures.

Some actions the firms take, such as funneling profits through subsidiaries in Ireland, which has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe, may be legal.

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