Don’t tell the taxman, but Google revenues will soon beat the BBC’s

UK sales for 2013 surge to $5.6bn, bringing its corporation tax arrangements back into the spotlight

Google’s UK revenues last year came within a whisker of the entire BBC licence fee as online advertising surged, putting yet more pressure on the US company over its relatively low levels of UK corporation tax.

Sales in the UK leapt 15.5 per cent in 2013 to $5.6bn (£3.4bn), just shy of the £3.65bn raised during the year from the licence fee, highlighting how the online search engine is rapidly rising in the financial power league of British media. Britain is Google’s second-biggest market outside the US and it recorded its best-ever quarter here in the final three months of 2013 as revenue hit $1.5bn.

News of Google’s soaring revenues, the bulk of which come from advertising, will heap further pressure on the company over its tax arrangements. Despite its huge revenues, Google paid just £11.2m in corporation tax here in 2012. The company pays all its taxes legally but books most of its UK takings through its Irish business, so avoiding UK corporation taxes.

John Mann, a Labour MP and member of the influential Treasury Select Committee, told The Independent yesterday: “Google has a massive turnover, but along with other corporations continues to scheme to avoid paying its fair share of tax. Google’s mantra is ‘don’t be evil’ – but companies need to consider the customers they rely on. At a time of wage stagnation and welfare cuts, does ‘evil’ mean illegal for Google, or should it consider a more relative concept of fairness and accountability?”

Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee, last year condemned Google’s UK tax arrangements as “devious, calculated and unethical” when the company’s UK chief, Matt Brittin, appeared before MPs.

The most recent accounts for Google UK reveal that its shares-based staff compensation scheme is also under scrutiny from HM Revenue and Customs. The company has set aside £24m to cover potential historical corporation tax on the scheme, dating back to 2005, arising from the taxman’s investigation.

Details of how much corporation tax Google paid in 2013 will not be available until Google UK files its annual accounts later this year.

Google said: “Like most multinationals, we pay the bulk of our £1.2bn corporate tax bill where our business originated, in our case the US. We’re also a significant contributor to the UK economy, having created over 2,000 jobs.”

However, losses at the internet giant’s Motorola arm, which it has just agreed to sell to Lenovo, weighed on earnings, pushing it to a loss of $384m in the quarter.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Graduate / Trainee Recruitment Consultant - IT

£25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Orgtel are seeking Graduate Trainee Re...

HR Business Partner - Banking Finance - Brentwood - £45K

£45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: ** HR Business Partner - Senior H...

PA / Team Secretary - Wimbledon

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: PA / Team Secretary - Mat...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on