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Google: Do no evil, pay no tax

Well, not much, anyway

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Google has been accused of swerving UK tax on the £1.6bn it makes in Britain.

To be fair, Google does pay some tax - about £140,000 on interest on cash in the bank held here. But its offshore status means it, quite legally, avoids paying £450m in corporation tax.

Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable accused Google of not playing fair. He said the firm was ducking its social responsibilities, especially in a time of recession.

The search giant employs 770 people in the UK and makes 13 per cent of its revenues here, the Sunday Times reports.

UK revenues are funnelled through Google's European headquarters in Dublin, where corporation tax is lower. The company has faced down critics on this issue in the past, and its close links with the Tory Party mean a change of government is unlikely to change its tax status.

The paper also found Google UK makes limited charitable donations, for a company which makes so much of its humanitarian values.

The firm gave £5,662 to charity last year. Its average UK worker earned over £90,000 and its best-paid director trousered £1.1m. ®

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