Thursday, June 1, 2017

HOLD THE PICKLES, HOLD THE LETTUCE ... SPECIAL TAX TREATMENTS ... HOW LONG WILL TRUMP IGNORE THIS?

Google manages to reduce its tax bill by using a set of subsidiary companies across the globe.

The network - nicknamed the 'Double Irish and Dutch Sandwich' - is hugely controversial but totally legal.

Google moved its headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa to Ireland in 2008 to benefit from the country's lower tax rate on profits.

In Britain, its biggest market outside the US, Google is classified as having no 'fixed base' so none of its sales are technically made in the UK.

It means when a British company buys a Google advert for the UK, for example, the money goes straight to Dublin, meaning it pays little tax to the UK Treasury.

After paying Ireland's lower corporation tax rate of 12.5%, international profits are then funnelled via Google Netherlands Holdings, taking advantage of generous tax laws there.

The profits are then sent to Google's main overseas company, another Irish business domiciled in Bermuda - where the corporation tax rate is zero.

This complicated arrangement is explained by experts as the Double Irish and Dutch Sandwich - with the Irish businesses being the bread and the Dutch subsidiary being its filling.

It means that Google's overseas tax rate on all its profits falls to around five per cent when in the UK it would have to pay 20 per cent.

Though this process has been branded 'immoral' by MPs, it is not illegal and Google says it has abided by international tax rules.

The company also says its Bermuda operation does not impact the tax it pays in the UK.

Executives say the reported UK profit margins are far below the group average because most of its algorithms and codes, which drive the company's profits, are developed outside the country.

Google still pays the majority of its taxes in America, but on its American profits only.