London: Internet search giant Google is likely to be grilled by British lawmakers over revelations that it avoided paying over 200 million pounds in taxes to the UK Government.
Company accounts showed that last year Google raked in 2.6 billion pounds in revenues from its UK operations, which are officially based in Ireland.
The group, however, admitted it paid only six million pounds to the British exchequer in 2011.
Tax experts said the sum is 218 million pounds short of what it should have coughed up.
John Mann, a Labour member of the Treasury Select Committee, said it was “entirely improper and immoral” that Google should pay so little.
According to a report by The Independent, Mann plans to call Google executives to account before the committee.
“It is entirely immoral, this is a company avoiding its obligations and we are letting them get away with doing it,” Mann said.
“I think it would be highly appropriate to pull a Google executive in front of the committee to justify their failure to pay proper taxes, we would be looking at covering the issue in this parliamentary session, so before Easter, realistically,” he added.
According to The Telegraph, Google’s British operation is run as an agent of its Irish subsidiary, meaning it only pays tax on 10 per cent of its earnings.
The rest of the money is channelled via another subsidiary registered in Bermuda, thus avoiding tax.
Meanwhile, a Google spokesman said the firm abides by all tax laws, and that it makes a substantial contribution to the UK economy through local, payroll and corporate taxes.
First Published: Monday, August 13, 2012, 16:54