Friday, 01 July 2016 07:51

Tax officials raid Google offices in Madrid

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Google's offices in Madrid have been raided by authorities as part of an ongoing tax probe, according to media reports.

This is the second raid in five weeks, with the company's offices in Paris being raided on May 24.

The Madrid raid comes after the EU announced a third set of anti-trust charges against the search behemoth.

Google is headquartered in Ireland which has a low rate of corporate tax and it has been criticised in several countries, including Australia, for not paying its fair share of tax.

A Google spokesperson was quoted as saying that the company complied with Spanish tax laws and was co-operating with the authorities.

Earlier this year, the company agreed to pay £130 million in Britain to make up for evading taxes for more than a decade.

Apart from the tax raids, Google faces problems on other fronts with reports that the EU will hit the company with a massive €3 billion fine for using unfair tactics to dominate the search engine market.

Google is not the only company to be under scrutiny for non-payment of tax; last year the chief executives of Google, Microsoft and Apple appeared before an Australian Senate committee.

Under examination were the complicated tax structures these companies have and also the reasons why they refuse to pay their fair share of tax for doing business in Australia.

Criticism of the company is not limited to the tax area. Recently, a senior research psychologist Robert Epstein listed the ways in which Google uses its power in the search realm to twist things to benefit itself.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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