The French police has raided the tech giant’s offices in Paris this morning, on an operation that involves tax evasion investigation. The journal Le Parisien states that the operation began on Tuesday at 5:00 am and it had 100 officials involved. Reuters got the confirmation of the raid from France’s financial prosecutor’s office later.
Google was demanded to pay 1.6 billion euros in back taxes by the French authorities, as media reports suggest.
Apple, Google and other giants are being scrutinized in Europe for the complex fiscal arrangements that keep their tax burdens low, but they argue that their taxes are within the yoke of the law.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, said earlier in Paris that they want to advocate a simpler global tax system and that they strive to abide by tax laws everywhere as they are a global company.
On a side note, Google already had paid about 185 million dollars in unpaid taxes to the British earlier on this year, but there was a lot of criticism involved as the amount was allegedly too low. The French government, as opposed to the British, as already said they will not negotiate on the amount.
Google didn’t answer when asked for comment and they left only the email statement to The Verge adding that they comply with the French law and are cooperating with them fully in order to make the process as smooth as possible.
Only time will tell how this will turn out, but is it becoming a trend that Google has to pay governments for its tax problems?