Just one day after the UK’s public spending watchdog described the £130M ($185M) back-tax paid by Google in the country as “disproportionately small,” France is demanding a rather larger sum. Reuters reports that the country’s finance ministry believes Google owes €1.6B ($1.76B).
“As far as our country is concerned, back taxes concerning this company amount to 1.6 billion euros,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said […]
Earlier this month, Finance Minister Michel Sapin ruled out striking a deal with the U.S. search engine company as the British government recently did, saying the sums at stake in France were “far greater” than those in Britain …
However, the BBC notes that Google’s CEO is currently in Paris, and was scheduled to meet the French economy minister Emmanuel Macron – with the country’s AFP news agency suggesting that a deal may after all be struck for a lesser amount.
Google France declined to comment on the amount, giving only the usual company line that it complies with tax laws in all the countries in which it operates. Google has in the past argued that while sales may be generated within a particular country, the profits belong to its European headquarters, based in Ireland.
The agreement reached in the UK may also not be the end of the matter there: the European Commission has said that the deal may be illegal, and is likely to be investigated at a European level.
Photo: AP Photo/Virginia Mayo