Google agrees 945-million-euro tax settlement with France

Google part of Alphabet pays little tax in most European countries because it reports almost all sales in Ireland

Google part of Alphabet pays little tax in most European countries because it reports almost all sales in Ireland

Google is to pay French authorities nearly €1billion ($1.7b) to end a long-running investigation into its taxes.

Google said in a statement: "We remain convinced that a coordinated reform of the global tax system is the best way to provide a clear framework to companies operating worldwide".

The ruling concludes investigations by the French authorities which have been ongoing since 2015.

"This outcome is good news for the public finances and fiscal fairness in France", their statement said.

Belloubet added that the settlement showed French authorities have the tools to ensure an equitable tax system.

France has been leading the way in reexamining taxes on digital operations.

"It is a historic settlement both for our public finances and because it marks the end of an era", Darmanin said.

The search giant, which is part of Alphabet, pays little tax in most European countries because it reports nearly all of its sales in Ireland.

Macron has said it will scrap its digital tax once a new worldwide levy being discussed among the 134 OECD countries is in place, which Paris hopes will happen next year. This is usual practice for many multinationals which declare profits from activities across Europe in one country; governments, however, are beginning to clamp down this practice.

The French government has eventually imposed its own unilateral tax, prompting U.S. President Donald Trump to brandish the menace of a retaliatory tax on French wine.

France's tech tax provoked a rebuke from the White House, which said it could lead to US tariffs on French imports.

Pascal Saint-Amans, who is leading the negotiations as head of tax policy at the OECD, said after the G7 that progress is being made but several key issues still need to be hammered out.

In 2016, Google paid £130 million ($160,000) in a settlement with the British authorities and in 2017 agreed to pay 306 million euros to settle a tax dispute in Italy.

This is the latest in a series of fines imposed on Google in the current year by authorities in the USA and the EU.