Google is expected to have to pay north of $2 billion in taxes worldwide as part of an upcoming shareholder resolution in light of their annual general meeting in Mountain View, California, tomorrow. The company is especially under fire in Europe due to having profits being routed through countries like Ireland and the Netherlands, which have relatively low top corporate tax rates of 25% and 25.5%. For comparison, the top C corporation tax rate in the United States is 35%. They have also been accused of setting up shell companies in countries like Bermuda to hide a low estimate of $33 billion in revenue.
Placing increased pressure on Google to pay more taxes, a petition has been signed by more than 134,000 people all for the tax resolution. Among those who signed the petition were 2,000 Google shareholders and 11,000 investors from Vanguard, Fidelity, and iShares, which are some of Google’s largest institutional investors. The petition also states Google avoided substantial taxes in the United Kingdom by routing $9.25 billion in profits through countries like Bermuda resulting in only $19.5 million in taxes paid in the United Kingdom.
Making matters worse, they are also under investigation in multiple other countries. In the US, they are being accused by Carl Levin, a democratic senator out of Michigan, of deferring taxes on more than $24 billion in revenue. Over in France, they were recently assessed $1.38 billion in back taxes from the past ten years. Lastly, in Italy they are being audited by the Tax Police and offices are being searched for similar tax avoidance strategies. Despite all the evidence and pressure they are under, Google refuses to comment on the resolution and plans to oppose it. Considering Google is one of the most powerful, influential companies in the world perhaps they should rethink their position with their investors, shareholders, and customers more in mind. Feel free to read more here –
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