Margaret Hodge MP, chair of the influential House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, wants our tax officials to clamp down on Google.
She says that Britain has an official tax gap of £350bn excluding the amount owed by Google, Amazon and Starbucks . Google says it abides by the law but tax officials have confirmed that it is subject to an HMRC inquiry, following information from a whistleblower called Barney Jones.
In May, Ms Hodge told Google’s northern Europe boss, Matt Brittin, that his company’s behaviour on taxation was “devious, calculated and, in my view, unethical”, adding “You are a company that says you ‘do no evil’. And I think that you do do evil.”
Google claims that sales from the UK are invoices from other territories and so any resulting profits are not subject to UK taxation. This is despite the company telling investors that they took over £3.2billion of money from sales to UK customers last year. The latest accounts show Google paid just £3.4 million in tax in the UK during the same period.
Google should do the right thing: if it is earning money here, it must pay tax here. Tax evasion and tax avoidance are immoral and a disservice to the country that Google seems to profit from. Pay up the full amount Google.