Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has promised a future Conservative government would introduce what has been dubbed a “Google tax” on technology companies.
In his address to the Tory Party conference today (29th September), Osborne said that while Britain offered “some of the lowest business taxes in the world, we expect those taxes to be paid - not avoided”.
“Some technology companies go to extraordinary lengths to pay little or no tax here,” he told delegates at the conference in Birmingham. “If you abuse our tax system, you abuse the trust of the British people.
“And my message to those companies is clear: we will put a stop to it. Low taxes, but low taxes that are paid.”
In 2012 the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee grilled representatives from Google, Amazon and Starbucks about the levels of tax paid by multinational businesses in the UK.
Amazon’s Andrew Cecil told the committee that the retailer operated as a service company in the UK, with Luxembourg-based Amazon EU S.a.r.L as the firm’s single European company.