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Fury over Google's UK tax situation

It has been revealed that Internet giant Google would appear not to have paid any tax on UK advertising revenues of £1.6 billion in 2008. In a perfectly legal arrangement, Google has diverted all of its UK advertising earnings to an Irish subsidiary which saved the company an estimated £450 million in corporation tax for 2008. However, the revelation by the Times newspaper has certainly attracted fury from UK politicians.

It is no secret that the UK tax system is very complicated to say the least and there are ways and means of streamlining both personal and corporate tax obligations. In many ways it seems as though those caught out by various UK government taxes and new tax initiatives are those who cannot afford to hire the services of accountants. However, many people believe that the very fact that the UK tax system is complicated has left the door open for initiatives such as that used by Google, a strategy which is perfectly legal and perfectly legitimate.

Let us not forget that the likes of Google are accountable to their shareholders and ultimately the company is run for the benefit of those who have invested in the company. However, there are some people who believe the company has a moral obligation to the UK tax system but would you give away £450 million?

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