Experts say Google’s corporation tax bill for 2013 is likely to be much lower than it should be because the group runs its British operations out of Ireland.
Expert is stretching it a bit.
‘On the basis of Google’s global performance and the share of its profits in the UK we would expect it to pay more than £200million a year in the UK,’ said tax accountant Richard Murphy, who helped expose coffee chain Starbucks for avoiding tax.
For Starbucks didn’t avoid tax of course. It simply didn’t make a profit.
And as to Google, no, we wouldn’t expect them to be paying £200 million in tax in the UK. And Murphy knows why too: the tax law doesn’t say that it should pay £200 million in tax in the UK. Murphy might think Google ought to: but the law says differently. And when we’ve a conflict between the law and a retired accountant from Wandsworth who are we to believe?
Personally I’d go with the law.