Google’s chair hits back at MPs over tax row

Marion Dakers
GOOGLE’S executive chairman Eric Schmidt yesterday defended the tax status of the online giant, urging MPs to change the law if they are upset with the firm’s practices.

Schmidt, who is due to meet David Cameron today at the Prime Minister’s quarterly meeting with business heads, said the UK “has the perfect opportunity to take the lead in shaping this complex debate at the G8 summit next month”.

He used an article in the Observer to point out that Google pays around $2bn in corporate income tax per year in the US.

The company came in for a mauling at last week’s public accounts committee, with chair Margaret Hodge describing its practice of routing deals though its Irish office as “devious, calculated and, in my view, unethical”.

Meanwhile Downing Street has today called upon the UK’s overseas territories to “get their house in order” over the sharing of tax information as David Cameron looks to lead a global fight against tax evasion ahead of the annual G8 summit on 17-18 June.