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La Repubblica, Italy

Thanks to Bermuda, Google Evades $2 Billion in Taxes

Translated By Juliana DiBona

10 December 2012

Edited by Vic­to­ria Denholm

Italy - La Repubblica - Original Article (Italian)

The most famous search engine in the world, through financial artifice, transferred $9.8 billion in revenues from California to Bermuda, with a tax benefit of at least $2 billion.

MILAN - In 2011 Google evaded about $2 billion in corporate income tax by transferring $9.8 billion, a figure three times higher than that of three years ago and equal to 80 percent of Google’s total profits before tax, to a shell company in Bermuda. As reported by Bloomberg, the transfer does not violate the law and allows Google to halve its fiscal obligations, because Bermuda has no corporate income tax. The details of the transfer are contained in documents submitted to the authorities by a Dutch subsidiary and may exacerbate the contention that the U.S. company has opened with the tax authorities in Italy, France, the UK and Australia.

Google, for its part, claims that it is in good standing and that its investments are helping Europe out of the crisis. In Britain, more than two thousand workers are employed by the American search engine. But according to local authorities, through tricks known as the Dutch Sandwich and the Double Irish, it is evading taxes that should be paid in the countries in which it operates. These tactics allow the company to transfer license payments for patents, trademarks and other subsidiaries in Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda. Last year, Google had a tax rate (the incidence of taxes on operating results) of 3.2 percent, while European companies pay between 26 and 34 percent.



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