Google's Another UK Tax Dodger, But It Actually Wants to Pay More?

By Sam Gibbs on at

It looks like Google's yet another big multi-national company dodging tax in the UK, just like Vodafone, Apple, and others before it. This time, though, we have a company that actually wants to pay more tax, it just can't. How does that work?

According to the Telegraph, Google's UK operation will pay just £6 million-odd on a turnover close to £4 billion £400 million. That's a tax saving even Jimmy Carr would be proud of, but by law that's all Google actually has to pay in the UK, apparently.

Google's Eric Schmidt apparently even said as much last year, stating that he'd actually like to pay more tax in the UK, and would do so if British law required it. But he couldn't very well pay over the odds just because he liked good ol'Blighty -- shareholders would nuke that immediately.

Of course, that's just corporation tax, Google employs over 1,300 people in the UK, so their income tax goes into our coffers, and it pumps money into things like Google Campus. Maybe it's time we rethought our tax in the UK for global companies like Google, though?

At any rate, maybe Google's "don't be evil" mentality really is still going strong, given that Schmidt said it actually wants to pay more tax. Those are just words, though, I guess. If the government actually went and jacked up the minimum tax, it wouldn't surprise me to see the likes of Google and others run for the hills -- no one likes paying bloody tax. [Telegraph]

Image credit: Burglar from Shutterstock

Update: Google's been in touch to say an error on its part saw its turnover in the UK be reported as £3.95 billion, when in fact it should be £395 million. I guess that's what happens when you're working with that many zeros on the end of your numbers, eh Google?