The investigation centres on Google’s claim that its operations in France do not represent a permanent establishment but a mere satellite of its Irish business. It routes billions in annual advertising sales via Dublin, taking advantage of low corporation tax in the Republic and avoiding France’s 33pc rate.
Google used a similar scheme in the UK until a clampdown and a deal to pay HMRC £130m earlier this year. France’s finance minister has ruled a similar settlement, however. The company says it complies with French tax law.
The UK tax thing was just absolutely nothing at all to do with Google Ireland Ltd selling advertising in the UK.
Just nothing at all.
It was to do with the transfer pricing for the engineering and support services that Google UK offered to Google Ireland.
The French aren’t even pursuing a point even tangentially related to what the UK did.