Google has to pay £ 183 million in residual tax to the Irish government

Google’s Irish subsidiary has agreed to pay € 218m.

The US technology company, which had been accused of evading hundreds of millions in taxes across Europe through loopholes known as the “double Irish, Dutch sandwich”, said it had “accepted the resolution of certain tax issues related to previous years” .

Google Ireland said it would pay corporation tax of € 622m. for 2020, including € 218 million. backdated settlement and interest expenses. The previous year, Google Ireland paid tax of € 263 million.

In line with a 2015 law, the company, which is part of parent company Alphabet, promised last year that it would drop the loophole strategy, which made it possible to effectively mix revenue from across Europe offshore to places like Bermuda, where the tax rate was zero. . A Bloomberg survey showed that the scheme allowed Google to lower its overseas tax rate to just 2.4%.

Google did not explain the reason for the tax refund in its accounts and did not respond to the request for comment. The application only stated: “After the end of the year, the company agreed to the solution of certain tax issues relating to previous years. This tax liability and associated interest are recognized in the current financial year.”

Paul Monaghan, CEO of the Fair Tax Foundation, said: “There is really a shameful lack of transparency around Alphabet’s tax behavior, especially at the level of the Irish subsidiaries. Stakeholders have a right to know what this Irish corporate tax settlement is about.

“Investors should be particularly concerned as Alphabet’s US applications show that it has billions in disagreement with tax authorities across the globe in circumstances where, by its own definition, it has less than a 50% chance of winning.”

Ireland, which has made European low-tax headquarters available to many of the world’s largest multinationals, initially refused to sign an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development agreement on a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% by 2023, but dropped its opposition to the plan following a change in the text.

The agreement, which has been ratified by most of the 140 countries participating in the negotiations, is designed to end decades of countries undercutting their neighbors by offering companies lower taxes.

The accounts show that Google Ireland Limited made a pre-tax profit of € 2.85 billion. in 2020, up from € 1.94 billion. in 2019. Revenue increased by € 2.7 billion. to € 48.4 billion.

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