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TechnologyGoogle to pay $1.1 billion in France following tax probe

12:45  13 september  2019
12:45  13 september  2019 Source:   engadget.com

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Google will pay $ 1 . 1 billion to end two French fiscal cases following years of outrage over the amount of tax it pays in Europe. Vonnie: so what does this do to the overall tax bill that google is paying ? Tony: you can look at this story in two different ways.

Google agreed to pay close to 1 billion euros ($ 1 .10 billion ) to French authorities to settle a fiscal fraud probe that began four years ago in a deal Google , part of Alphabet Inc, pays little tax in most European countries because it reports almost all sales in Ireland. This is possible thanks to a loophole

After a four-year investigation, Google has agreed to pay almost €1 billion ($1.10 billion) to French authorities because it did not fully declare its tax activities in the country, as reported by Reuters.

Google to pay $1.1 billion in France following tax probe

Google's tax status in the European Union has always been contentious. It pays very little tax in most European countries despite doing business on the continent, because a loophole allows it to avoid taxes by essentially running a shell company in Ireland. This well-known loophole is called the Double Irish arrangement and has been described as the largest tax avoidance tool in history.

French officials had originally hoped to claim €1.6 billion ($1.76 billion) from the search giant; far more than the £130 million (about $185 million) accepted by the UK for similar tax issues there. The French authorities raided Google's Paris headquarters in 2016 as part of their investigation, but eventually a French court found in Google's favor and said the company didn't have to pay the fine.

Google could soon face another antitrust investigation

Google could soon face another antitrust investigation Next week, more than half of the nation's attorneys general are expected to announce an antitrust investigation into Google, The Washington Post reports. Details on the investigation are limited, but it's yet another probe into fears that big tech has amassed too much power. Both Democrats and Republicans have expressed concerns that just a handful of companies control the internet and technology at large. Earlier this summer, a House antitrust subcommitteegrilled executives from Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

Google agreed to pay close to 1 billion euros ($ 1 .10 billion ) to French authorities to settle a fiscal fraud probe that began four years ago in a deal FILE PHOTO: Visitors pass by the logo of Google at the high profile startups and high tech leaders gathering, Viva Tech,in Paris, France May 16, 2019.

Google said on Thursday it agreed to pay 465 million euros in additional taxes to French authorities, boosting the total settlement to end a fiscal fraud probe in the country to nearly 1 billion . France 's financial prosecutor office earlier said Google had agreed to pay half a billion euros in fine.

That wasn't the end of the issue though. Together with Germany, France pushed for stricter tax regulations over major tech companies including Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. With the latest settlement achieved with Google, other tech companies may face similar action in France too

Google has had other legal troubles in France as well. Earlier this year it was fined €50 million (about $57 million) by the French National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) for not complying with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation rules about data consent.

Reuters
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