Turkey Asks Google For $47 Million In Taxes

    November 3, 2009

It seems that Google’s accounting practices may not be quite in line with accepted Turkish procedures.  In fact, Turkey’s government has determined that the search giant owes it a little over $47 million in unpaid taxes.

Google LogoRobin Wauters wrote earlier today, "Local media reports (links in Turkish) teach us that the Turkish government claims it is entitled to additional taxes because of the fact Google operates its online advertising in the country and even boasts offices and a registered subsidiary there while bills and payments originate from Ireland."

Wauters later continued, "Google, which is [the] market leader in search and online advertising in Turkey, has unsurprisingly countered these claims saying that it runs its ad network operations from Ireland . . . .  Google said it is acting in accordance with the tax laws of every country in which it operates, including Turkish laws, and that its negotiations with the government on this issue are ongoing."

Still, whether Google is or isn’t obeying the letter of the law, the odds aren’t exactly in its favor.  After all, YouTube’s been blocked in Turkey for almost a year and a half just because a few user-generated videos claimed that the country’s founder was gay, so the Turkish authorities have demonstrated a real ability to misplace blame and hold a grudge.

Google’s market cap, by the way, is $170 billion, so $47 million at least wouldn’t represent any sort of deathblow.

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