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Published On: Tue, Oct 29th, 2013

Google dodges billions in taxes with Bermuda tax haven, being investigated by British authorities

The UK tax authority has indicated it is investigating Google over its tax affairs following evidence from a whistleblower who claims British taxpayers are being ”cheated” by the company.

Photo/donkeyhotey  donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

Photo/donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

Former Google executive Barney Jones claims the internet giant has a system in place that diverts British profits through Ireland to the Bermuda tax haven.

Over 100,000 emails and documents detail the scheme as criticisms and accusations are swirling as an investigation never proceeded.

“I acknowledge that you did refer the whistleblower to us and I believe he did confirm to the press that we met him and we took his evidence from him and that we paid a great deal of interest to what he had to tell us and that is what we do with anyone who provides evidence. We take it very seriously and we always act upon it if it indicates non compliance by a taxpayer,” Jim Harra, the director general has responded.

In the spotlight is Feargal O’Rourke, a powerful tax advisor who has developed unique strategies for high-profile multinational clients that ultimately help them pay the government less.

Bloomberg recently profiled O’Rourke, the son of Mary O’Rourke — among Ireland’s best known female politicians. Even as regulators across the globe look to close the loopholes he’s found a way to leverage,

O’Rourke insists there’s nothing wrong with the Ireland’s tax system. “Under no circumstances is Ireland a tax haven,” he tells Bloomberg News. “I’m a player in this game and we play by the rules.”

Here’s the summary of Google’s approach:

Under O’Rourke’s guidance, Google has taken advantage of a tactic known as the “Double Irish,” whereby — with the help of a business unit in Bermuda — Google avoids being charged significant income tax across most of the world. Bloomberg News says this saved the company $2.2 billion last year. But even the powerful advisor, who oversees a staff of 500, recognizes that there’s pressure for change. O’Rourke predicts regulators could eventually be successful in curtailing some of the policies that have led to cash piles for some of the world’s biggest companies. But in the meantime, he’s poised to help steer his clients to even more savings. “I like selling Ireland,” he says. “We have a lot to offer.”

 

 

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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