Large US technology corporations continue to dodge the Spanish taxman

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20 Jan 2014 10:36 by mac75 Star rating in Valencia. 407 posts Send private message

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Large US technology corporations continue to dodge the Spanish taxman through fiscal engineering tactics that channel the profits of their sales in Spain to countries with lower corporate tax rates.
The Spanish affiliates of seven major companies — Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Yahoo, eBay and Microsoft — paid a joint total of just 1,251,608 euros on their 2012 profits derived from their Spanish business activities.
This aggregate figure is not taken from their tax filings but from their annual accounts at the Spanish Business Register, which reflect the money that the companies earmark in a given year for tax on profits.
The image that emerges is a systematic attempt to channel most of the sales volume (or failing that, their profits) to countries with lower tax rates, such as Ireland and Luxembourg.

Even then, complex fiscal structures allow these industry giants to barely pay tax on profits in those countries.
Google transfers most of its US profits to the Bermudas to avoid taxes. Apple discovered what one US senator termed “The Holy Grail” of tax evasion: its affiliates do not pay taxes in the US because they are based in Ireland, yet pay no taxes in Ireland because they are run from the US.

The Spanish tax authorities have issued incendiary statements against these tactics, and created a special unit that has scored a few successes among traditional multinationals. But an inspection of Google Spain only found minor discrepancies in its tax filings. Its fiscal technique was thus validated.

Data analyzed by EL PAÍS show that while Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, eBay and Yahoo earmarked a collective 15 million euros for tax on profits, most of that money was offset by tax credits for compensatory losses, bringing the actual payment down to around 1.2 million euros.....

 



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