Google has created a giant tax credit with HMRC by handing share bonuses worth £145m to its London-based workers.
The internet search giant paid £541m to staff at its British subsidiary in salaries and bonuses last year. That equated to average payouts of £183,000 for its 2,943 UK-based employees.
The haul included £145m in shares in Google’s owner Alphabet, generating a £45m tax credit for the world’s second most valuable company.
The Silicon Valley giant will be able to use the credit to reduce tax liabilities in the years ahead, according to accounts for its main UK subsidiary.
Google’s opaque tax arrangements came under renewed attack last week when it revealed that it paid just £25m in corporation tax in the 12 months to the end of June — despite generating $7.8bn (£6.2bn) in revenues from UK-based clients.
They lowered their company tax bill by paying the staff!