Death and taxes. You can’t escape them. But corporations can and do.
It’s common knowledge by now that big multinational companies exploit the inconsistencies between national tax regimes to secure the lowest possible tax rate for their profits. This is legal and deeply frustrating. In the wake of a popular backlash against profit-shifting practices, the UK government has begun to take some remedial actions. At the end of last week, Google agreed to pay the UK treasurer Â£130 million ($185 million) in back taxes, covering the period since 2005, and to also pay higher taxes in the future. UK Chancellor George Osborne hailed it as a “major success.” The numbers disagree.
Obviously, Apple isn’t the only one dodging taxes through shady deals. We haven’t forgotten about you, Google.