Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th May 2016 13:47 UTC, submitted by Adurbe
Google

Reports say about 100 tax officials entered Google's offices in central Paris early in the morning. Police sources confirmed the raid, but Google itself has so far made no comment. Google is accused of owing the French state €1.6bn ($1.8bn; £1.3bn) in unpaid taxes.

Good.

We're coming for you.

Order by: Score:
Comment by satai
by satai on Tue 24th May 2016 14:37 UTC
satai
Member since:
2005-07-30

Hard to say, about which side I have bitter feels - Google tax evasionists or French socialistic buerocracts?

Whoever wins...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by satai
by piotr.dobrogost on Tue 24th May 2016 20:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by satai"
piotr.dobrogost Member since:
2011-10-04

Exactly my thoughts after reading this info ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by satai
by Ishan333 on Wed 25th May 2016 08:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by satai"
Ishan333 Member since:
2012-06-27

There's nothing socialistic about current french government. They're the same liberal "democrats" they've always been, and I use "democrats" lightly....

Reply Score: 1

Media hype
by SitrucKram on Tue 24th May 2016 15:26 UTC
SitrucKram
Member since:
2013-12-02

I'm sure that Google is operating within the bounds of tax law. They'd be stupid not to. Now, the laws that allow for these major companies to avoid paying as much in proportion to other businesses that operate worldwide is beyond me. However, what's legal is legal.

Thom, I'm not entirely sure I understand what you mean by, 'we're coming for you'. You've become entirely too belligerent in your hyperbole to be taken seriously lately.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Media hype
by Carewolf on Tue 24th May 2016 15:30 UTC in reply to "Media hype"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

I am pretty sure they are NOT operating within the law, but close enough to it that they think they have a chance of defending it in court. They would be stupid not to.

The issue is that tax laws are starting to be enforced for the first time on very large companies, so things they used to get away with, they now can't.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Media hype
by SitrucKram on Tue 24th May 2016 15:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Media hype"
SitrucKram Member since:
2013-12-02

Without being able to see their ledgers, records, returns, I'd say that it's all left to suspicion until the investigation is over with. With that being said, There's an equal chance that they are a bigger target, thus are being probed to prove a point.

Let's try to be objective, rather than raising unnecessary Holwerda-esque pitchforks.

Edited 2016-05-24 15:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Media hype
by boofar on Tue 24th May 2016 16:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Media hype"
boofar Member since:
2008-04-23

I'm pretty sure they're operating right on the edge, meaning on the right side of their own interpretation, but outside the tax authorities' interpretation of the law. Which interpretation is correct, is up to the courts to decide. It'll probably drag out for years...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Media hype
by TemporalBeing on Tue 24th May 2016 17:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Media hype"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

I'm pretty sure they're operating right on the edge, meaning on the right side of their own interpretation, but outside the tax authorities' interpretation of the law. Which interpretation is correct, is up to the courts to decide. It'll probably drag out for years...


Agreed. There are many gray areas in taxes where it comes down to the accountant making a decision about which way to go. An auditor might not necessarily agree, but typically if the accountant can back up their decision then it's not something that was deliberate (e.g fraudulent) and no fines, just pay the balance.

From my limited understanding, these gray areas usually nullify each other. That is, one decision will counter another so in the end, they'll probably owe either nothing (most likely), get a small refund (least likely) or pay a small amount (probable) - no where nearly the 1.8 billion Euros quoted either way.

As the other commenter said, you don't know until the investigation is over which it is. And it'll probably come down to the decisions around the gray areas. They'll probably make a big deal of it if it's anything more than a few tens of thousands of Euros to try to dissuade others, but most likely it'll be less than that in the end if it's only gray areas.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Media hype
by dionicio on Wed 25th May 2016 15:14 UTC in reply to "Media hype"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Wherever you see complex law frames you can safely bet that EXPENSIVE teams of lobbyists and CHEAP teams of law makers are present ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Media hype
by dionicio on Wed 25th May 2016 15:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Media hype"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

[Any similitude to the W3C Consortium of late is plain and vanilla coincidence].

Reply Score: 3

Yay?
by crhylove on Tue 24th May 2016 16:16 UTC
crhylove
Member since:
2010-04-10

An egregious corrupt institution is going after an egregious corrupt institution. Neither party of which has anything but malevolent domination of the human spirit in mind.

Yay?

Fuck your government, and fuck your centralized corporate NSA spy apparatus (google). I sincerely hope the kids of tomorrow destroy you all as quickly as possible by all means possible.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Yay?
by dionicio on Wed 25th May 2016 15:38 UTC in reply to "Yay?"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Come on. Stop trying to fish anarchists on low-power mode and go looking for them at .gov/

Reply Score: 2

"We're coming for you."
by WereCatf on Tue 24th May 2016 16:36 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

"We?" I'm pretty sure you have absolutely nothing to do with this, literally zero effect. Also, you're making it sound like it's a major step forward or something, but.. well, the recent Panama-papers, for example, are a great example of how government-officials et.al. are fully willing to skip on laws and regulations themselves; who's to say the taxes the government would get out of Google or others would be used for anything that benefits the general populace? It's much more likely the money will just end up in someone else's pockets without the general populace ever seeing a single dime's worth of it.

Reply Score: 4

RE: "We're coming for you."
by dionicio on Wed 25th May 2016 15:52 UTC in reply to ""We're coming for you.""
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Well, to fight for a slice of the cake, first We need a cake worth to fight for.

[Is this your former Avatar, WereCaftf? ;) ]

Reply Score: 2

RE: "We're coming for you."
by dionicio on Wed 25th May 2016 15:56 UTC in reply to ""We're coming for you.""
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

As an User of Google ecosystem [bottom of the food chain], are you entitled to even ask for a slice of Google cake?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by smashIt
by smashIt on Tue 24th May 2016 16:53 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06

seems like someone in france wants his backspace back ;)

Reply Score: 15

Comment by jphamlore
by jphamlore on Tue 24th May 2016 18:29 UTC
jphamlore
Member since:
2011-02-15

Google "Netherlands tax haven". Here is a sample:

https://www.socialeurope.eu/2016/01/what-europe-needs-to-know-about-...

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Or in the words of Walt Kelly's comic strip Pogo, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by jphamlore
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 24th May 2016 19:10 UTC in reply to "Comment by jphamlore"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Google "Netherlands tax haven". Here is a sample:

https://www.socialeurope.eu/2016/01/what-europe-needs-to-know-about-...

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Or in the words of Walt Kelly's comic strip Pogo, "We have met the enemy and he is us."


Because I'm Dutch you think any of us approve of this?

There's a great push happening here right now to end this nonsense. We'll know more after the 2017 general election.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by jphamlore
by darknexus on Tue 24th May 2016 19:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by jphamlore"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

There's a great push happening here right now to end this nonsense. We'll know more after the 2017 general election.

Won't you know after a few years of the elected officials being in office? Perhaps I'm just jaded, but politicians generally say whatever they think will get them in and then do whatever they damn well please once they manage to become elected.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Phuqker
by Phuqker on Tue 24th May 2016 23:31 UTC
Phuqker
Member since:
2005-07-17

I used to love OSNews, but I think I'm done. After many, many long years of membership, I'm going to drop OSNews from my RSS reader. I'm not going to delete my account. I tend not to be a fan of such drastic steps.

So why am I doing this? Thom's politics, which this libertarian finds nauseating. I think OSNews should be apolitical. I want tech news, not tech news with a side of statism. Frankly, I don't even want tech news with a side of libertarianism. I just want tech news.

I'll check in every once in a while, but it's no longer going to be a daily or even monthly habit.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Phuqker
by Morgan on Wed 25th May 2016 04:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by Phuqker"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I mostly agree with you; I think the politicking should be left to the comments section and not editorialized unless the post is clearly marked as an editorial. Of course Thom is the managing editor so ultimately he gets to do what he wants.

But I won't go so far as to say that politics and technology can't be discussed together. The comments section of each article posted here is full of on-topic, insightful commentary with a side of political dick-waving (and tit-waving, let's be equal opportunity about it), and overall it balances itself out. Sure, there's the odd thread that descends into madness and stupidity, but that's true of any online forum.

Besides, if we the users somehow manage to stop the editors from posting political topics, what good does that serve in the end? There are a lot of political actions and government shenanigans that are extremely important to the future of technology and digital freedoms, and to ignore that for the sake of a more "pure" site is dangerous. Again, I'd also like to see less of Thom's personal slant here (and I say that as someone who generally agrees with his point of view about most things), but consider that he is a large part of the lifeblood of this site, and as such I think a little leeway is apropos.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Phuqker
by Phuqker on Wed 25th May 2016 04:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Phuqker"
Phuqker Member since:
2005-07-17

Fair enough.

I don't have a problem with politics in the comments. It's the articles that have too much politics.

"There are a lot of political actions and government shenanigans that are extremely important to the future of technology and digital freedoms, and to ignore that for the sake of a more 'pure' site is dangerous."

True, but there's a less polemical, more neutral, more "journalistic" way to present these things. I think it's impossible to entirely eliminate one's biases even in these cases, but it's possible to tone it down. One can present things matter-of-factly and let the comments go wild. Hell, Thom himself sometimes wades into the comments, and that I think is the proper place for him to show his politics. He could, as managing editor, post an article and then, as the very first commenter, start things off with a political comment if he wishes.

For instance, in this very article he could simply have pointed out what happened and left off "Good. We're coming for you." He could have added that as the very first comment.

A great many people in the tech business share Thom's politics. And a great many share mine. Libertarianism has a much larger mindshare in tech than in the general population. He risks alienating people like me. (My guess is he already has, and they have simply wandered off.)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Phuqker
by winehacker on Wed 25th May 2016 09:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Phuqker"
winehacker Member since:
2009-12-18

There is no difference between him making his comment in the story or as the first post. You are splitting hairs or in this case, threads.

People are still going to bitch about his politics and not want to read his site because the guy who runs it is too liberal for them, even if he is completely neutral in the body of the story.

In fact, I would say, if he didn't comment in the post but waiting until the comments thread, people would accuse him of dishonesty.

They would say:

'look at more of the liberal media, it pretends to be objective, when it really is biased'

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Phuqker
by Phuqker on Wed 25th May 2016 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Phuqker"
Phuqker Member since:
2005-07-17

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree. There is a difference: It's easy enough to ignore the comments—as I often do—but the articles are in your face.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Phuqker
by dionicio on Wed 25th May 2016 16:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Phuqker"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

As far as have seen here -editorial side- this is a one man endeavor.

How could this small site be more than one Soul color? Even when Thom 'pastes' another point of view, generally is one he agrees with.

We are the other points of view. And welcome every one of your points of view. Even if implying pounding Thom ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Phuqker
by dionicio on Wed 25th May 2016 16:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by Phuqker"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

The note [and it is a note worth reading because is about an IT dominating actor] not related at all with Technology.

Tax Probe. What could We comment here, but Powers Play?

Are we going to ignore the Economic, Social & Political Environment surrounding and determining IT routes?

How do YOU understand what's going on, if not pondering the Politics of IT decisions and acts?

In fact OSnews as an overseeing IT site, should involve a little more on the Ethics, Politics, Economics, Law, Sociology & Anthropology [back delete? old fonts?] of the field.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Phuqker
by Alfman on Wed 25th May 2016 16:19 UTC in reply to "Comment by Phuqker"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Phuqker,

I used to love OSNews, but I think I'm done. After many, many long years of membership, I'm going to drop OSNews from my RSS reader. I'm not going to delete my account. I tend not to be a fan of such drastic steps.

So why am I doing this? Thom's politics, which this libertarian finds nauseating. I think OSNews should be apolitical. I want tech news, not tech news with a side of statism. Frankly, I don't even want tech news with a side of libertarianism. I just want tech news.



I don't mind Thom sharing his opinion, political or otherwise. It's his site and whether we agree or disagree doesn't really matter to me; I think it'd be fun to meet with Thom to have a chat.

My gripe is different, it's not the opinions, but rather the format: a quote & link followed by a short sentence. I know that Thom does good reporting when he wants to, but these articles now don't do much for me. Frankly journalism as a whole has gone downhill. As advertising revenue continues to shrink, the market economics favor cheap copycat material over in depth content. There's an alarming lack of investigative journalists even at our major news outlets. Everyone is just echoing the same damn things.


It's very easy for us to criticize instances of these trends and I've made suggestions to improve osnews on a few occasions in the past. But in truth, I don't know that any of the ideas would break even, much less produce a justifiable ROI. I face these troubles all the time in my business, I'd love to hire more people to help me. It is easy to say, but hard to do without money...Maybe I could afford some Indian devs? Alot of the local jobs will go to them anyways.


I've totally gone off topic ;)

Edited 2016-05-25 16:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Phuqker
by David on Thu 26th May 2016 17:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Phuqker"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

I don't always agree with Thom's point of view, and I would generally advocation caution to Thom when dipping into non-tech politics here at OSNews. But I agree that it's more of an issue because we don't have several editors with a variety of viewpoints that can cultivate an idea exchange here. I've tried over the past few years to recruit other editors, but as you hint at, these days online publishing is a money-losing endeavor unless you're going to play the sponsored content game or you're a hell of a lot better at marketing than I am.

So if anyone's out there who's interested in bringing a new perspective, and could commit to a regular contribution, let me know.

Reply Score: 1

v Sc
by Anonymous on Wed 25th May 2016 04:57 UTC
Comment by Sidux
by Sidux on Wed 25th May 2016 05:42 UTC
Sidux
Member since:
2015-03-10

Who will be next? Microsoft, Apple?
It's nice to think that playing by the book is the way to go but sadly others will find better ways to increase their profits.
I'm sure they already based their decision on very well paid legal departments that knew the "ins and outs" of the legislation that allowed them to do this.
Much like every investor now forces each startup to source their build lines in India / China for no other reason than profit margins.

Reply Score: 1

About time, we're seeing change
by Macka on Wed 25th May 2016 06:16 UTC
Macka
Member since:
2016-05-25

Personally I am sick and tired of American tech companies not paying their fair (where fair equals "morally fair", not "legally fair") share of tax in Europe. And indeed all over the world.

Apple, Uber, Airbnb, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, etc. I will avoid giving you any of my money.

In general, tax avoidance is a huge problem. In London, most banks don't pay tax because of their corporate tax avoidance structures. I used to work for Deutsche Bank in London (god awful company), and they don't pay any corporation tax in the UK. Uh, what? You're making money in the UK, so you have to pay up. Imagine if I had gone to HMRC and said that I wasn't going to pay tax while I lived in London. No wonder their (UK/London) healthcare, public transport, and housing is so poor. The UK is not receiving hundreds of millions of pounds of tax that it's due. This money would go to improving public infrastructure, to the betterment of society.

It's also anti-competitive. How are local EU companies who pay their fair share of tax able to complete?

It's immoral. These companies are willing to take on employees who have used public services (healthcare, universities, etc.) but are unwilling to give back. How do you think that these public services function? It's not through the magical money fairy but rather because we all pay our taxes.

This is also a huge gap in perception from capitalism-driven America and a more socialist Europe. Americans don't seem to realise (or are convinced that a rigged system is fine, because they naively believe that the "American dream" will get them into the rigged system one day) that these are the kind of systems by which the rich get richer and the poor become poorer. Europe has a better understanding that these tax avoidance structures aid problems with the distribution of wealth. Again, for the betterment of society, we need companies to be paying their taxes.

It's time that these neoliberal asshats (politicians and CEOs) got their acts together. You wanna operate in a country? Then pay your god damn taxes like the rest of us.

As for Google in Paris, good. They recently paid some tax to the UK government, although it was still not even close to being the correct amount.

Reply Score: 3

Jonteponte7112 Member since:
2015-04-28

Question:

Do you, yourself pay the "morally fair" taxes or the "legally fair"?

For example. In the country where I pay taxes there are deductions that everyone can make but can also choose not to make.

*Not* doing those deductions would be "morally fair".

So which is it?

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Question:

Do you, yourself pay the "morally fair" taxes or the "legally fair"?

For example. In the country where I pay taxes there are deductions that everyone can make but can also choose not to make.

*Not* doing those deductions would be "morally fair".

So which is it?


I take the standard deduction since I don't have enough to make itemized deduction worthwhile.

Personally I'd rather there were NO deductions and just have a lower tax rate with no loopholes. What kind of tax code has the working class paying higher taxes than corporations and billionaires anyways?

Edited 2016-05-26 19:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by dionicio
by dionicio on Wed 25th May 2016 15:01 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

But, Do audits has to be so rude?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Phloptical
by Phloptical on Wed 25th May 2016 22:58 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

This is pretty much the only thing the EU is good for.....going after successful American companies.

Reply Score: 2

not "good"
by eydaimon on Sun 29th May 2016 13:57 UTC
eydaimon
Member since:
2006-03-22

Why is this "good" and what about this "coming for you" ? OP is being retarded. Tax laws cost companies a freaking fortune and is hampering progress. Meanwhile, as mentioned in an earlier comment, Panama papers prove government corruption.

Government is way worse than you ever want to make out any company to be. End of story.

Reply Score: 1