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Google to pay £130m to Britain in back taxes

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Technology giant Google is to pay £130 million ($185.4 million, 172 million euros) in back taxes to Britain following a government inquiry into its tax arrangements, a company spokeswoman said Friday.

It follows a six-year probe by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in response to controversy over low taxes paid by multinational corporations which operate in Britain but have headquarters elsewhere.

“We have agreed with HMRC a new approach for our UK taxes and will pay £130 million, covering taxes since 2005,” a Google spokeswoman said.

“The way multinational companies are taxed has been debated for many years and the international tax system is changing as a result. This settlement reflects that shift.”

In future, Google will pay taxes in Britain according to revenue from advertisers based in Britain, something that “reflects the size and scope of our UK business”, the spokeswoman said.

The BBC reported that Google would now register a greater proportion of its sales activity in Britain rather than Ireland, where its European headquarters is based and which has a lower rate of corporation tax.

An HMRC spokesman welcomed the agreement.

“The successful conclusion of HMRC inquiries has secured a substantial result, which means that Google will pay the full tax due in law on profits that belong in the UK,” the spokesman said.

“Multinational companies must pay the tax that is due and we do not accept less.”

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