SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google will pay about $140 million in British back taxes in a concession driven by a shift in how the Internet company will measure its success in the United Kingdom. The amount translates into 130 million pounds.
The accord disclosed Friday comes amid mounting criticism that Google and other major U.S. companies have been scrimping on their tax bills with a variety of accounting maneuvers that have rankled governments around the world.
In the United Kingdom, for instance, Google has been facing accusations that it hasn't been paying its fair share of taxes in a country that represents its second largest market outside the U.S. Similar complaints have been leveled against Facebook, Amazon.com and Starbucks in the U.K.
Google has been minimizing its tax bill for years in the U.K. by keeping its headquarters in Ireland, where rates are lower. The strategy has helped Google boost its profits and its stock price and fatten its bank accounts. Google and its recently formed parent company, Alphabet Inc., have about $73 billion in cash.
The accounting switch, retroactive to 2005, requires Google to base its U.K. tax bill on ad revenue generated in the country instead of just profit.