Google's French offices raided over tax

 
Lynsey Barber
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Google's French HQ in Paris has been searched (Source: Getty)

Google's offices in France have been raided as part of a probe into its taxes by authorities in the country.

Tax officials and law enforcement began searching the premises in the heart of Paris early on Tuesday morning, renewing the attention on the corporate tax of large companies which has simmered in ongoing rows this year.

The French prosecutors office said: "The investigation aims to verify whether Google Ireland has a permanent base in France and if, by not declaring parts of its activities carried out in France, it failed its fiscal obligations, including on corporate tax and value added tax."

Google had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Read more: Google tax row won’t slow UK’s booming digital economy

France is seeking to recover €1.6bn (£1.2bn) in back taxes from the US tech firm after a crackdown in February, reports have suggested. Finance minister Michel Sapin said at the time that the French government would not negotiate with Google.

Google sparked outrage over its tax arrangements in the UK earlier this year, but in contrast to the French, UK authorities agreed a deal for Google to repay £130m in corporation tax.

Google and other big tech companies such as Amazon and Facebook, which have also had tax arrangements scrutinised, face being forced to disclose exactly how much tax they pay by the European Commission under new proposals.

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