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This article was published on January 28, 2016

EU considers investigation into Google’s £130 million tax deal

EU considers investigation into Google’s £130 million tax deal
Owen Williams
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Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

Just days after Google reached an agreement to pay £130 million ($185 million USD) in back taxes to the UK, the European Competition Commissioner has said that she will be “willing to investigate” the agreements if someone complains.

Talking to the BBC today, Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s Competition Commissioner said that “If we find that there is something to be concerned about if someone writes to us and says, well, this is maybe not as it should be then we will take a look.”

As it turns out, someone has: both the Labour and SNP parties plan to write such letters.

Google, Apple and other major tech companies like Ireland to design favorable tax scenarios and avoid paying high taxes in other countries where they do business. The Cupertino-based company is also under a significant amount of pressure for using similar techniques.

For its part, however, Google says it has paid all tax that it owes and argued yesterday in the Financial Times that “After a six-year audit we are paying the full amount of tax that HM Revenue & Customs agrees we should pay, including £130 million in additional back tax.”

Google tax: European Commission ‘willing to probe deal’ [BBC]