Google pays its taxes, senior Europe executive insists
Google pays taxes in every country where it has a presence, the multinational tech giant's Europe vice president Carlo d'Asaro Biondo said Friday as the company faces a raft of fiscal probes across the continent
"The taxes are paid overwhelming where the value is created. And Google creates most of its value in the United States," D'Asaro Biondo told radio France Info.
He was speaking the day after Google's offices in Madrid were searched in a tax probe, just over a month after police raided the Internet giant in Paris in a similar investigation.
"We have an overall tax rate of approximately 20 percent. This is within the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) average," the Google executive said.
In January, the company agreed to pay £130 million (157 million euros, $175 million) in back taxes in Britain after a government inquiry sparked by a public outcry.
Italy has also demanded more than 200 million euros from Google, which is accused of perpetrating tax fraud there.
Like other US-based online multinationals, such as Amazon and Facebook, Google is regularly accused of not paying its fair share of tax both in Europe and in the United States, registering instead in low tax havens.
In Ireland, where the corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent is among the lowest in the European Union, Google has over 5,000 employees.
The company has also invested over 10 billion euros there, said D'Asaro Biondo.
"The choices regarding fiscal laws in each country were made by the European Commission... today we apply them," he argued, while urging a change in the rules in order to adapt to the increasing globalisation of large companies.
Google faces fresh EU anti-competition charges, this time targeting the search engine giant's advertising business, sources close to the matter told AFP on Tuesday.
"It's normal that there are controls on a company of our size," said D'Asaro Biondo, adding that Google would continue to "collaborate" with the European Commission on the matter.
© 2016 AFP