Google – more ‘rip-off’ tax avoidance schemes but this time it’s Ireland

Google’s business in Eire increased its turnover by almost 30 percent last year, with a €10bn turnover – but paid a mere €15.3m in taxes in 2010 on the figures quoted.

Accounts  filed with the CRO (Companies Registration Office) in Dublin show that Google Ireland Ltd’s turnover increase by 28 per cent last year, thanks to increasing revenue from Google’s online advertising division. Despite this fact, the Irish company’s pre-tax profits fell by 61 per cent to just €18.5m – with the company’s administrative expenses surging by some €1.75bn in that financial year.

The management of the company explained that the exponential rise in expenses were “an increase in royalties paid as a result of increases in recorded turnover” – this is widely believed to be a disguise for an increased payment to a Google holding company which operates in Bermuda. The Irish Sunday Independent recently reported that the Irish-registered company, Google Ireland Holdings Ltd, has assets that include intellectual property for Google’s advertising systems and other products. The company is registered in Ireland, but it’s management and financial base is in Bermuda – neatly moving the most profitable parts of the business to a location where taxation is minimal. Bermuda’s gain is Ireland’s loss. What is shown in the accounts is that Google Ireland Ltd – the face of Google in the country – pays the unknown Google Ireland Holdings Ltd billions for the use of its intellectual property, top-slicing the profit margin from its income and leaving Ireland with a paltry €15m as the company’s contribution for operating in their market.

Company accounts at the CRO reveal that Google Ireland Ltd’s administrative expenses were €7.2bn in 2010, which is almost 75 percent of its turnover. We are at the mercy of greedy global businesses who are parasites on our national economies.

Link to a past article concerning Google:


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