Consumer Watchdog Seeks Senate Hearing on Google’s ‘Morally Bankrupt’ Tax Policy

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SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog Wednesday called for a Senate hearing into Google’s “morally bankrupt” tax policies that force taxpayers “to make up for the Internet giant’s unwillingness to pay its fair share."

Consumer Watchdog called for the hearing in a letter to Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, urging that Google CEO Larry Page and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt be called “to testify under oath and explain their company’s flagrant abuse of the tax code to the detriment of all who play fairly."

“It will be necessary to work with other countries’ tax authorities and to amend our tax code to put an end to egregious loopholes that allow cynical exploitation by this generation’s Robber Barons,” wrote John M. Simpson, the nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group’s Privacy Project director.

Read Consumer Watchdog’s letter here.

Bloomberg News Service this week revealed how Google used dubious tactics dubbed the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich” to pay only 3.2 percent in tax on its overseas profits in 2011 even though most of its sales were in countries with tax rates from 26 to 34 percent. Google apparently cut its overall effective tax rate from 28 percent in 2008 to 21 percent in 2011.  The combined U.S. and state statutory tax corporate is about 39 percent.

“Google has parked its billions in off-shore accounts and, along with other corporate giants, is lobbying hard for a tax holiday to bring the money back into the United States at deeply discounted rates,” wrote Simpson. “What makes Google’s activities so reprehensible is its hypocritical assertion of its corporate motto, ‘Don’t Be Evil.’"

Read the Bloomberg article here.



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John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson is an American consumer rights advocate and former journalist. Since 2005, he has worked for Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, as the lead researcher on Inside Google, the group's effort to educate the public about Google's dominance over the internet and the need for greater online privacy.

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