UK "Google Tax" Will Hit Tax Dodging Tech Companies With 25 Per Cent Fee

By Gerald Lynch on at

Chancellor of the Exchequer (and possible work-night raver) George Osborne has announced a new 25 per cent tax on multinational companies that worm out of coughing up for taxation in the UK.

Already informally dubbed the "Google Tax", the charge was revealed as part of Osborne's Autumn Statement to parliament, which also included changes to healthcare funding and scientific research.

Osborne stated that the focus would be on those "who have paid too little", a lightly-veiled reference to the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook.

"Some of the largest companies in the world, including those in the tech sector, use elaborate structures to avoid paying taxes," he said.

"That's not fair to other British firms. It's not fair to the British people either. Today we're putting a stop to it."

The diverted profits tax will also apply to businesses whose base of operations is in the UK, and will be introduced from April 2015. It's hoped to raise £1 billion over the next five years. It's announcement follows a related move by the Irish government, which will be phasing out its lucrative "Double Irish" tax loophole by 2020, exploited by companies including Apple.

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