Google back in U.K. crosshairs over tax issues

The company claims that it does not sell to U.K. customers from the country, but a parliamentary committee wants to make sure that's really true.

Google could be called back into questioning over its U.K. tax payments, according to a new report.

Speaking to Margaret Hodge, head of the U.K.'s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which examines government financial affairs, Reuters reported on Wednesday that Google representatives will be brought back to the U.K. for questioning on whether the company derives any of its income through the U.K., thus requiring it to pay more in taxes to that country.

Last year, Google vice president for Northern and Central Europe, Matt Brittin, said before the PAC that no one in his company is selling within the U.K.'s borders. Instead, Google employs "a couple of hundred" people in Dublin that sell to U.K. clients. The move, which is followed by many other tech companies, is designed to save the search giant from certain tax payments. Countries that have higher tax rates, like the U.S. and U.K., have tried to find ways to combat those tax-savings maneuvers and raise more cash.

The PAC's decision to meet with Google again comes after Reuters earlier reported that Google's Web site claims sales teams for online advertising are based in London. Reuters also found that the company has had job openings for people who would engage in "strategic and revenue deals."

For its part, Google has said time and again that its sales teams are closing deals in Ireland and not within the U.K.'s borders. Google has also stood by the comments made by its representatives before the PAC and believe that they are in full compliance with the country's tax laws. If that's found to not be the case, however, Google could stand to get hit with a major tax bill.

CNET has contacted Google for comment on the report. We will update this story when we have more information.

 

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