Google accepts half a BILLION euro fine in French fiscal fraud settlement

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 13, 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 almost 1 billion euros.

"We have put an end to the tax and related disputes we had had in France for many years", Google said in a written statement.

French investigators have since 2015 been investigating Google's tax set-up.

France has been leading the way in reexamining taxes on digital operations.

Google said it now wanted to see a coordinated reform for a clear worldwide taxation framework. "This outcome is good news for the public finances and fiscal fairness in France", they said in a statement.

Belloubet added that the settlement showed French authorities have the tools to ensure an equitable tax system.

"It is a historic settlement both for our public finances and because it marks the end of an era", Darmanin said.

Google pays little tax in most of Europe by using a loophole in global tax law which involves transferring money through a Dutch front company into the tax haven of Bermuda. The company, like many multinationals, declares profits from activities across the European Union in one country, usually a low-tax state.

But French President Emmanuel Macron said alongside Trump at the G7 summit in August that leaders had reached an agreement on the taxation of tech giants, though the precise details remain to be worked out.

Pascal Saint-Amans, who is leading the negotiations as head of tax policy at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, told the Agence France-Presse news agency that progress is being made but several key issues still need to be hammered out.

This is the latest in a series of fines imposed on Google in the current year by authorities in the United States and the EU.

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