04/07/2016 - 00:10

Tax authorities raid Google’s Madrid offices

Two Madrid offices of Google were raided Thursday as part of an official probe into suspected tax evasion, according to local Spanish media.

Spain’s tax authorities suspect the company, with its European headquarters in Dublin, is not declaring all its financial activities in the country, Spanish daily El Mundo said.

Google said the company was complying with tax laws in Spain, just like it did in “all other countries the group operates in,” according to a statement given to EuropaPress.

For years European governments have been squeezing against the giant American corporation to ensure it pays its taxes throughout the continent.

In May, French authorities raided Google’s Paris offices as part of an investigation into alleged financial fraud and organized money laundering.

According to The Guardian, Google considers its European offices as satellites and much of the search-engine giant’s revenue is routed through its international headquarters in Ireland, which has a low corporate tax rate.

In January, Google was forced to pay approximately $174 million in back-taxes to the U.K. Treasury. According to The Guardian, this payment, however, triggered outrage in tax campaigners who said Google continues to route its British sales through Ireland to avoid taxes.

Sources from the French government have told the media that Google owes them approximately $178 million in back-taxes.

In 2011, the Spanish government opened another investigation into Google’s finances. According to El Pais, Google was basically paying virtually zero taxes, and had even declared losses. Eventually, the company paid $2.1 million on its 2008 and 2009 statements, and the case was closed.

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