Paris-based Google offices have been raided by French investigators, yesterday, May 24, because of allegedly not having paid their taxes.
It is reported that Google might have avoided paying tax in France – an amount revolving around €1.6 billion. The raid was conducted by the financial prosecutor’s office of the country, commonly known as “Le parquet national financier” (PNF).
The PNF confirmed that the search was part of an initial investigation into suspected “aggravated tax fraud and organised money laundering”.
In Europe, Google’s headquarters are located in Ireland. The French want to ascertain whether or not Google Ireland Ltd has been set up in France without making its activity in the country known – this would imply that it might have neglected fiscal obligations.
On the other hand, Google has defended itself, saying that its activities are in line with the law in France.
“We comply with the tax law in France, as in every other country in which we operate. We are cooperating fully with the authorities in Paris to answer their questions, as always.”