Bloomberg is reporting, citing a recent filing by a subsidiary in the Netherlands, that Google avoided nearly $2 billion in worldwide income taxes last year by shifting $9.8 billion in revenues to a Bermuda shell company.
The fact that Google does this is not news, but the amount of money involved, which is reportedly nearly double from three years ago, is raising some eyebrows.
Google’s funneling of money to subsidiaries in Bermuda is done so legally, and Bloomberg shares the following statement from a company spokesperson:
Google said it complies with all tax rules, and its investment in various European countries helps their economies. In the U.K., “we also employ over 2,000 people, help hundreds of thousands of businesses to grow online, and invest millions supporting new tech businesses in East London,” the Mountain View, California-based company said in a statement.
Lisa O’Carroll at The Guardian (via ZDNet) wrote an interesting article over a year and a half ago about Google uses Ireland and Bermuda to shelter taxes.
The disclosure comes at a time when Google is being investigated in European countries like France, Italy, Australia and the U.K., regarding its tax “avoidance” practices.