If there's one thing that Apple and Google have in common, it's being accused of dodging the right amount of tax across the globe. In Europe, and specifically in Google's case, it appears as though independent nations have had enough. Earlier this year it was the United Kingdom that took the fight to Google, walking away with what many called a "pitiful" £130 Million ($175 Million) in tax from previous years. Then it was the turn of Italy and then France, with a raid on their offices in France to aid the investigation into their tax repayments and whether or not they're actually paying the right amount. Now, it's the turn of Spain, as the Spanish authorities have raided Google's offices in Madrid in connection with a tax investigation.
It seems as though Spain is looking to verify whether or not Google has been 100% honest with the amount of revenue and profit the company is declaring as being made in Spain. In Spain, companies operating within the country must declare their earnings there, and it's suspected that Google might not have declared all of their activity within Spain as actually being in Spain. This could, in turn, lead to accusations of Google declaring profit elsewhere within Europe to not pay as much tax in Spain. For Google however, they simply had this to say in a statement: "we comply with the tax law in Spain, as in every other country in which we operate. We are cooperating fully with the authorities in Madrid to answer their questions, as always."
Google has its European Headquarters based in Ireland, a part of Europe which is notorious for offering some of the lowest tax rates on the continent. This makes it an attractive place for global businesses like Apple and Google that are looking to save a little on the tax they're required to pay. Whether or not Google Spain has done anything wrong remains to be seen, but this is one more instance of Europe turning hostile against Google, and the pile is starting to add up, with all of this going on at the same time as an ongoing EU Antitrust investigation.