French investigators raided Google’s Paris headquarters on Tuesday as part of a tax evasion inquiry, the financial prosecutor’s office said.
Reuters reports that facing public anger at the way multinational companies use their footprints around the world to minimize tax, France, Britain and others have sought ways to make sure Google, Yahoo! and other digital giants, who often have their tax bases in other countries, pay their taxes locally.
Investigators from the financial prosecutors office and France’s central office against corruption and tax fraud, accompanied by 25 IT specialists, took part in the raid.
A statement from the prosecutor’s office read:
“The investigation aims to verify whether Google Ireland Ltd has a permanent base in France and if, by not declaring parts of its activities carried out in France, it failed its fiscal obligations, including on corporate tax and value added tax”
Google has based its regional headquarters in Dublin where corporate tax rates are lower than elsewhere in Europe.