French Prosecutors And Magistrates Raid Google’s Paris HQ With Claims Of Tax Fraud

Ramish Zafar
Posted May 24, 2016
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As this year’s I/O came and went, we saw Google once again try its hand on several fronts at the same time. From smartphones, software, virtual reality and more, One Infinite Loop is quite eager to experiment. But it looks like Google’s got some troubles brewing up with the French authorities, as the latter have conducted a raid at the company’s offices in Paris.

French Prosecutors Raid Google’s Paris Headquarters With Charges Of Financial Fraud

French authorities raided Google’s Paris headquarters early morning early morning on Tuesday, with representatives from France’s financial prosecutors office, combined with the country’s office against financial corruption and fraud on 5am. The US search engine giant is being accused of evading French taxes; with similar claims also having surfaced against the company in the past as well.

Google’s headquarters in France operate as a subsidiary of Google Ireland Ltd.with the French looking to establish its permanent presence in the country. The search engine giant’s primary European headquarters are based in Dublin, which with its 12.5% tax rate helps Google save quite a bit in taxes.

Google claims that its offices in countries including France, Britain and more merely serve as subsidiaries of Google Ireland Ltd. and do not perform permanent revenue based operations in the respective territories. The company’s headquarters in France employ more than 700 in staff and paid €5m in taxes two years back.

Google-Tel-Aviv-Office_1

According to the French prosecutor office, “The investigation aims to verify whether Google Ireland Ltd has a permanent base in France and if, by not declaring parts of its activities carried out in France, it failed its fiscal obligations, including on corporate tax and value added tax.” Earlier this year, Google reached an agreement with British authorities where the company agreed to pay £130m back in taxes, causing uproar throughout the country.

In fact, its tussle with the French authorities has been going on since 2014, when Google notified the SECP about anticipated actions from the French government. What’s more is that it even agreed that some tax revenues might have to be paid back to the authorities. These actions in France aren’t directed against Google only, as multinationals throughout Europe facing similar moves from respective authorities.

Whether these actions bear any fruitful results for the French, we’ll find out soon enough. Thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned for the latest.

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