Just when Google plans to co-operate with the government authorities to expand its services in one nation, it runs into trouble with another. And in a recent turn of events, Google’s headquarter in Madrid has been raided by Spanish authorities. It is evident from local sources that the investigation involves tax fraud and evasion.
This is another blow to Google’s integrity, whose Paris headquarters were also raided by the authorities as part of a probe related to allegations of tax evasion. And as local press reports, today’s raid seems to be related to similar tax liabilities.
The Google headquarter and its campus in Madrid were raided on suspicion of fraud and tax evasion related to VAT payments and payments of non-residents.As reported by Reuters, the raid was approved by the capital court on request of the Spanish tax authorities.
The Madrid Tax Agency has reason to believe that the Internet giant is not being completely up-front and hiding certain activities being conducted in the Spanish territory. The raid is aimed to double-check the fact that Google is in-fact involved in money laundering by using a loophole in international tax laws.
Alphabet-owned, Google Inc. has gotten away from paying huge taxes in the Europe by conducting all its business in Dublin and reporting all of its sales from Ireland. Thus, the raid was conducted to confirm whether the Internet giant had a office there and whether it was operating under the country’s tax obligations or not. A Google spokeswoman said in a statement that,
The company complied with fiscal legislation in Spain just as it did in all countries where it operated. The company was working with authorities to answer all questions, as always.
As mentioned above, Google had to face a similar run in with the European authorities just last month. And as sources close the Finance ministry suggest that Google might have to shell out Euro 1.6 Billion in terms of fine. But, the Internet giant still hasn’t processed the fine imposed on them by the Parisian authorities, so its tough that it will just payout whatever the Spanish authorities ask of them.
In addition to this, the company in January also agreed to pay a sum of £130 million in back taxes to Britain. However, the agreement wasn’t particularly amenable to the public and the opposition who thought that Google was being let off too easily.
It now seems that more and more people are becoming aware of the clever(but fraudulent!) practices of the tech giants, like Amazon or Google. The people don’t want to jeopardize the business of these tech giants, but they sure want them to adopt the tax laws of the country they operate in.