A former Google director says the American multinational company has cheated hundreds of millions of pounds out of the British taxpayer.
Barney Jones, who worked as a team manager at Google between 2002 and 2006, toldThe Sunday Times that the company has been leading an “immoral” scheme to dodge tax by hiring accountants that “pretend they [Google] make their money in Ireland, Bermuda or the British Virgin Islands”. "What Google is doing is immoral," Jones said. Goggle has paid only £6 million in tax in Britain in 2011 on revenues of more than £3 billion that year by claiming it made its UK transactions really take place in Ireland, where tax rates are significantly lower than in Britian. "It uses a concocted scheme to avoid tax. It’s a smoke-screen to distort where the substance of its economic activity is really taking place,” Jones added. This comes as the British parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has described Google’s tax arrangements as “devious, calculated and unethical” during a grilling session of the corporation’s vice president Matt Brittin on Thursday. The MPs said Google has been “deliberately manipulating the reality of their business” to avoid tax. Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt is also to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron over the issue on Monday.