November 20, 2012
NY Times: Europe Seek More Taxes From U.S. Multinationals
Following up on last week's post, Starbucks Pays Demi Taxes on Trenta Sales: New York Times, European Countries Seek More Taxes From U.S. Multinational Companies:
Google reported sales of more than $4 billion in Britain last year. It paid less than $10 million in taxes. Some tax collectors, lawmakers and competitors of Google in Europe say this is unfair.
As governments throughout the region seek to close gaping holes in their budgets, they are taking aim at United States multinational companies, especially Internet giants like Google and Amazon.com, which pay little or no taxes in Europe, despite generating billions of dollars in revenue on the Continent.
“Why on earth do you manipulate your accounts so that you get away with not paying corporation tax in the U.K.?” Margaret Hodge, a member of Parliament, asked representatives of Google, Amazon and Starbucks last week, during a heated committee hearing in London. ...
Google, Amazon, Starbucks and other American companies facing tax scrutiny say they are doing nothing wrong. They use complex accounting strategies to exploit national differences across Europe in corporate tax rates, which range from less than 10 percent to more than 30 percent, and loopholes that can reduce their effective European tax levies to almost nothing.
(Hat Tip: Ann Murphy, Mike Talbert.)
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