Google says it's okay to skimp on tax in the UK because UK businesses use Google
22nd Apr 2013 | 09:19
Seriously guys, it's fine
Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt has defended the internet giant against calls for it to pay more tax in the UK, saying that because UK businesses use Google products, it should be exempt.
He told the BBC that he thinks it's fine for the company, valued at $268.4 billion (£176bn) to pay just £6 million in corporation tax for a year's trading in the UK because Google is so handy for other businesses in the country.
"Britain has been a very good market for us," he said - but went on to add that it's not a one-way street.
"We empower literally billions of pounds of start-ups through our advertising network and so forth. And we're a key part of the electronic commerce expansion of Britain, which is driving a lot of economic growth for the country."
Well that's all right then
As if British businesses using the products that Google has made for the purposes that Google intended them isn't a good enough excuse for us to let the multinational company off a bigger tax bill, Schmidt adds that the tax system is exploited by all big companies the world over.
"The same is true for British firms operating in the US, for example," he added, with just a hint of a threat that Google will call its dad and he will turn out to be bigger than ours.
"I think the most important thing to say about our taxes is that we fully comply with the law and we'll obviously, should the law change, we'll comply with that as well."
According to the Forbes rich list, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are worth $22.8 billion and $23 billion (around £15 billion each) respectively.