French tax police raid Google’s Paris offices


PARIS: French police and two dozen computer experts raided Google’s Paris offices on Tuesday in a fraud probe, with the US Internet giant already suspected of owing 1.6 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in back taxes. The French authorities suspect Google of “aggravated tax fraud and conspiracy to conceal (it),” the national financial prosecution service (PNF) said in a statement. Google is one of several multinational corporations that have come under fire in Europe for paying extremely low taxes by shifting revenue across borders in an often complex web of financial arrangements. A Google spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse: “We respect French legislation and are fully cooperating with the authorities to answer their questions.” The PNF said police, tax officials and 25 computer experts took part in the raid. A source close to the matter said in February that French authorities believe the Californian group owes 1.6 billion euros in back taxes. Its European operations are headquartered in Ireland, which has some of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe.



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