Google to End 'Double Irish, Dutch Sandwich' Tax Scheme

Google, like other multinationals that make use of international tax minimization strategies, has always said it pays all its taxes.

Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment
Google to End 'Double Irish, Dutch Sandwich' Tax Scheme

Google has always said it pays all its taxes

Highlights
  • Alphabet will no longer use an intellectual property licensing scheme
  • It allowed Alphabet to delay paying US taxes
  • This is in line with international rules: Google

Google parent Alphabet will no longer use an intellectual property licensing scheme, known as the "Double Irish, Dutch sandwich", which allowed it to delay paying US taxes, 2018 tax filings show. A Google spokesman on Tuesday confirmed it would scrap the licensing structure, saying this was in line with international rules and followed changes to US tax law in 2017.

Dutch filings, which were seen by Reuters, showed that in 2018 Google moved EUR 21.8 billion ($24.5 billion) through its Dutch holding company to Bermuda, up from 19.9 billion in 2017. Google said it would end the practice after 2019.

"A date of termination of the Company's licensing activities has not yet been confirmed by senior leadership, however management expects that this termination will take place as of 31 December 2019 or during 2020," the Dutch filing said.

"Consequently, the Company's turnover and associated expense base generated from licensing activities will discontinue as of this date," the filing with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce added.

Google, like other multinationals that make use of international tax minimisation strategies, has always said it pays all its taxes.

"We're now simplifying our corporate structure and will license our IP (intellectual property) from the US, not Bermuda," a spokesman said in a statement.

"Including all annual and one-time income taxes over the past ten years, our global effective tax rate has been over 23 percent, with more than 80 percent of that tax due in the US.”

For more than a decade, Dutch, Irish and US tax law allowed Google to enjoy an effective tax rate in the single digits on its non-US profits, around a quarter the average tax rate in its overseas markets.

The subsidiary in the Netherlands was used to shift revenue from royalties earned outside the United States to Google Ireland Holdings, an affiliate based in Bermuda, where companies pay no income tax.

The tax strategy was legal and allowed Google to avoid triggering US income taxes or European withholding taxes on the funds, which represent the bulk of its overseas profits.

Under pressure from the European Union and the United States, Ireland in 2014 decided to phase out the arrangement, ending Google's Irish tax advantages in 2020.

The Trump administration's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which came into effect in January 2018, ended the reason for US companies to hoard foreign profits offshore. Now profits that have been made and taxed abroad are not subject to taxation when returned to the US.

In the Bermuda filing for 2018, Bermuda-based "Google Ireland Holdings Unlimited Co." said in the future it would no longer continue licensing intellectual property or holding debt securities, but it would continue equity investment operations.

© Thomson Reuters 2019

Comments

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Further reading: Google, Alphabet
Chandrayaan-3 Launch in 2020, Minister Claims
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite Live Images Surface Online, Show Familiar Hole-Punch Design and Triple Rear Cameras

Related Stories

 
 

Advertisement

 

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2020. All rights reserved.