Google whistleblower offers evidence of tax avoidance – report
MOSCOW, May 20 (RAPSI) - Former Google manager-turned-whistleblower Barney Jones has evidence of the search giant’s “immoral” tax avoidance in the form of upwards of 100,000 emails from his time spent working for the company, according to a report by The Sunday Times.
Jones served as a team manager between 2002 and 2006, and claims to have played a role in convincing some of the biggest companies in Britain to pay for advertising on Google.
According to the report, Jones was shocked by evidence provided to a British parliamentary committee by Google Vice President for Northern and Central Europe Matt Brittin’s amidst an investigation into tax avoidance.
Brittin had initially told the inquiry that Google that UK employees were not selling advertising deals, and that advertising deals were being closed in Ireland. He later added that no UK employee was authorized to execute or close such a deal.
The Sunday Times points out that Ireland – which hosts Google’s European headquarters – has a much lower corporate tax rate than does the UK. Accordingly, the search giant paid only £6 million in UK taxes in 2011 despite having reportedly generated more than £2.7 billion in revenues.
To this point, Jones told The Sunday Times: "When I was at Google, our job was to find advertisers, to close the deals [and] to get them to sign bits of paper saying they were committing to spend in the UK. If that is not closing the deal, I don't know what is… Google has pulled the wool over the eyes of HMRC [HM Revenue & Customs] and the British population. Google has prided itself on being a socially responsible company and to pay your tax is the most fundamental responsibility. This is a betrayal of everything that Google stands for."