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Google: Why should we pay tax when we make 'intangibles'?

We don't need to hire people in your country, says ad-slinger's Australian leader

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Irritated at global moves to lop the odd choc truffle off its outputs, Google has launched a spirited defense of its right to underpay taxes in Australia, on the basis that the benefits it brings to the local economy are intangible.

In an upcoming profile piece in the Australian Financial Review's style-and-fashion supplement Boss, excerpted here as a promo, local Google boss Maile Carnegie is quoted as saying that an indefinable someone should “look more broadly at some of the intangibles”.

In a thinly-veiled threat remark immediately backtracked on the basis that ditching Australia has never been discussed, Carnegie told Boss “I look at over 450 engineers . . . they don’t need to be here.”

Rather than assessing ad revenue – Australian advertisers whose estimated $AU2 billion worth of slots are booked overseas to shift the income away from this country's tax regime – MsCarnegie wants Australia to consider the “additional value” that the Chocolate Factory represents to the Australian economy, which the company truly to the bottom of its heart believes was $AU300 million last year.

Which should, surely, salve the restive salary earners wondering why they can't funnel their pay packets through Singapore (where income tax is ~10%), The Netherlands, and Ireland. ®

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