What Can You Learn from Google’s Billion Dollar Tax Battle?

tax debtGoogle is facing multiple tax battles in Europe. It recently ended a major dispute in France, where the country’s tax collection agency claimed the search giant owed over $1.27 billion dollars in back taxes. The allegations were connected to a contention that since the search engine advertised in the country, taxes were owed. France was unable to establish that Google had a taxable presence in the country. As such, the court threw the case out.


Google’s tax woes are far from over. As noted in a piece by Fox News, the European Union fined Google $2.7 billion for promoting its own business by “abusing the dominance of its search engine.”


Google is not the only one facing allegations of tax violations. Apple and Amazon are also facing charges of tax debt in European countries.


Part of the issue is the ever changing nature of tax law. The tax rules in some of these countries have changed, making it more difficult for companies to understand when they owe and when they do not. This is true for all companies doing business in Europe, not just the giants.


What can others learn from Google’s tax controversy battles?


Thankfully, the mega giant of the search engine industry provides lessons that can apply to even small businesses. These lessons include:


  • Get informed. The importance of knowing the laws that apply where you are doing business cannot be understated. Whether navigating various state laws or international tax laws, it is important to know which laws impact your business dealings.
  • Comply. It is also important to make sure your dealings are in compliance with all applicable laws. An attempt to thwart tax obligations can result in serious civil and criminal ramifications.
  • Understand weakness. It is wise to acknowledge if you are unable to balance business needs with gathering and applying all the tax rules and regulations that apply to your business dealings. Legal professionals can review this information and counsel you in the best way to come into compliance while preserving your business interests.


Legal counsel will advocate for your interests. Contact an experienced attorney, like those at  Robert J. Fedor Esq., LLC, to review your business dealings and help ensure you are in compliance with applicable tax laws.

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