SOURCE GUARDIAN: Google expected to reveal growth of offshore cash funds to $43bn
Google is poised to confirm next week that controversial tax structures in Ireland, the Netherlands and Bermuda have boosted its offshore cash mountain to more than $43bn (£30bn), figures from financial analysts suggest. Despite governments around the world promising to crack down on the tech company’s tax avoidance arrangements, Wall Street analysts are confident Google will continue to salt away profits in Bermuda for years to come. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, will report its 2015 earnings next week and is expected confirm that offshore cash funds have grown by about $4bn in just 12 months. Offshore reserves of $43bn, held largely through Bermuda, represent profits from markets outside the US. Of these markets, the UK is the largest, accounting for 17% of non-US sales. But latest published accounts show Google’s UK subsidiary paid just £21m in tax for 2013. Google’s tax structure means income from many major overseas markets – including £4.56bn from the UK – is booked through Ireland. Much of it is then bounced through the Netherlands and back to Ireland and Bermuda. These strategies are known in tax jargon as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich”. Two years ago, George Osborne promised to bring an end the “extraordinary lengths … some technology companies go to to pay little or no tax [in Britain]”, introducing a tax on diverted profits last year. Last week, however, Google reached a long-awaited settlement with HRMC – in which it agreed to pay £130m in back taxes and bear a greater tax burden in future – that effectively sanctioned its continued use of Irish companies to book UK sales. Only a small increase in UK tax must now be paid by Google’s British arm.
SOURCE ITV NEWS: Intimate waxing? Worst tax return expense claims revealed
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed the top five most outrageous personal expenses claims included in last year’s Self Assessment tax returns. The expenses range from furnishing a new flat to the cost of storing Mars bars overnight in a fridge. Here’s the full list of bizarre expenses that some taxpayers have tried, and failed, to claim for:
- The costs for storing Mars bars overnight in a fridge
- The cost of a pair of flip flops so I don’t have to walk barefoot between my work’s changing and shower rooms
- The costs for my intimate waxing
- I bought a second hand car to get me from home to work so I didn’t have to walk
- I purchased my own flat, so I need to claim back the money I spent on the furniture.