Dozens of tax investigators raided Google’s offices in French capital Paris yesterday as part of a probe into the company’s alleged tax evasion.
The raid was conducted by investigators from the state financial prosecutor’s office assisted by 25 information technology (IT) experts, according to officials. “The investigation aims to verify whether Google Ireland Ltd has a permanent base in France” the prosecutor’s office said, “and if, by not declaring parts of its activities carried out in France, it failed its fiscal obligations[…]”.
Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., reports most of its sales in Ireland. Google claims most sales contracts are closed in its Dublin offices. If investigation finds sales are being concluded in other countries, Google may need to pay additional taxes in these countries.
In 2014 Google reported a total yearly revenue in France of €225.4 million with a profit of just €12.2 million, paying only €5 million in corporate tax according to the Financial Times. A Google spokesperson said the company is co-operating with French authorities and fully complies with French law.
According to Reuters, a source from the French finance ministry said French tax authorities are also separately pursuing Google for €1.6 billion in back taxes.