back to article Revenues up, taxes down: Google UK reports its slice of the Chocolate Factory pie

Google's UK tentacle booked a jump in revenues for the year ended 30 June 2019 while still managing to cut its tax bill by more than £21m. The figures, filed at Companies House yesterday and made available to read today, saw revenues of £1.6bn flood Google's coffers, up from £1.4bn in the previous year, but an increase of more …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We are in this together..."

    That's only for us plebs.

    For the likes of super slurper Google those rule obviously don't apply do they?

    The sooner the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook and the rest are made to stump up the same sort of percentage taxes that use mere mortals pay then all I can say is "Up Yours!"

    As I've just been officially declared 'unclean' (for the next 12 weeks) I'll have to work extra hard not to feed their insatible appetites for every last bit of data on our lives. I really don't want Amazon saying 'we think you might like...' (Wheelchairs, Zimmer frames etc) for the next 10+ years.

    1. RyokuMas

      Re: "We are in this together..."

      Sensible choice of browser (ie: not Chrome) and search engine (no prizes here), plus a decent array of ad and tracker-blockers should see you right.

      Of course, if you're browsing on mobile, your either a bit stuffed or completely buggered, dependent on your choice of OS.

  2. Dave 15

    And yet another tax fiddle

    Amazingly the tax man in the UK is hounding every little one man show and trying to grab tax off him but at the same time big American corporations are allowed to offshore their profits through administrative costs... oh look, income up 200k, costs up 200k.... what a coincidence.

    Its balls. Time the UK decided to tax everyone and every company on income, regardless. If google, starbucks and the likes decide to fuck off out of the country then so be it.. just do what Brazil and China do... if you want to sell here you have some form of R&D/Production here in proportion to your sales, you dont do that you dont sell here... period. Even if it means blocking google from the UKs internet (block it, China manages so I am damned sure we can).

    I dont want to penalise google, I just want a fair and level playing field. The corner shop, the corner cafe, the little consultant etc etc we ALL have to pay our damned taxes and we ALL get hounded for them.. .why the fuck should the big boys have free reign... it is what kills small business, how the HELL can any of us compete when we pay 25+% of oour income in tax and the big boys pay 0.00000000001%???

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: why the fuck should the big boys have free reign

      Because they're the big boys. They talk to your House of Lords. They discreetly pay for golfing trips and whatnot. They put money in the right hands, and influence the laws in their favor.

      In the UK, it is likely done with polite dinners and quiet chats in the club house. In the US it is brazenly done under the guise of "lobbying".

      The result is the same. And, if you had a few dozen billion lying around, you wouldn't fail to partake in that merry-go-round either. After all, all the other billionaires are doing it, so if you don't, you lose out.

      And nobody likes a loser.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge

        Re: why the fuck should the big boys have free reign

        It irks me to see Golf portrayed like that. The vast majority of golfers (probably 95% at least) are 'working Joes' like me. For most golfers it is a hobby no different to any other outdoor hobby. Most golf courses are open to the public and most golfers aren't even members of a club (you only need membership if you want an official handicap or if you play a lot and can save money on visitors fees).

        It's not even particularly expensive these days - it costs less than £200 to get the kit and at 95% of courses anyone can play for around £30. There's not many other leisure activities where you can get 4 hours of fun(*) for only £30.

        The situation isn't quite the same over in the US of A - they have a lot of exclusive country club style venues - but here in the home of golf it's a sport for anyone with enough time. And from talking on forums even in the USofA it's not particularly exclusive, you're just slightly more limited in the courses you can play or might find overcrowding to be an issue.

        (*)Fun isn't always the right term. Cycling has hills, football has mud, golf has bad shots :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: why the fuck should the big boys have free reign

          Swimming - £30 equipment costs, £4 per go

          Running - £50 equipment costs, £0 per go

          Football - £50 equipment costs, £0-£10 per go

          Cycling - £100 equipment costs, £0 per go

          Frisbee - £10 equipment costs, £0 per go

          {Roller,inline,}skate{,board} - £30-100 equipment costs, £0 per go

          Rugby - £50-100 equipment costs, £0-10 per go (most clubs will pay your subs if you cannot afford them)


          1. AndrueC Silver badge

            Re: why the fuck should the big boys have free reign

            That's just sport though, I specifically wrote 'leisure activities'. Although Golf is a sport it's not particularly physical and I view it more as 'something to do that takes half a day'.

            But my main point, really, is that it's not something that only the well-to-do play. It's within reach of almost anyone who has a job. The idea that only captains of industry and politicians play it is old fashioned. And having many years experience I can say that very few people talk about their jobs while they are playing. Quite the opposite - golf is a break from their jobs (and their families) - and they'd rather talk about almost anything else.

    2. RyokuMas

      Re: And yet another tax fiddle

      "Amazingly the tax man in the UK is hounding every little one man show and trying to grab tax off him..."

      Of course - take a "big boy" to court over tax and you're in for months - if not years - of legal pissing contest, of appeal and counter appeal as the lawyers from both sides try every loophole under the sun to win their case... with the only real winners being the lawyers and the losers being the taxpayers who have paid the tax man's costs.

      Whereas a small fry - well, he's not got the money for an extended legal battle, so he's either gonna roll over or go bankrupt.

      It's exactly the same principle as the big boys suing the small fry for infringement of copyrights, patents, trademarks etc.

    3. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: And yet another tax fiddle

      Its not just the corner shop, or the little consultant that gets hammered by the taxman

      Its the 1000s of small businesses that employ 10-50 people that are British companies dealing with other British companies, they have no way of avoiding the tax since they are based here and unable to 'offshore' stuff like 'admin expenses' and have to suffer the tax costs while the likes of google et al take the piss out of the system.

  3. codejunky Silver badge


    So more people employed in the UK, awesome. Yes we can complain that Google pays less tax but then thats the green eyed child who wants what others have just because.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      Because other employers who hire people *also* pay more taxes than Google. Much, much more.

      Is that clear for you now?

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Hmm


        "Is that clear for you now?"

        No. So we want jobs and business and to be part of the global economy. We have laws in place for tax. More jobs created and more people getting a wage (or higher wage) and yet this is a problem because maybe another employer pays more tax.

  4. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Quit blaming big companies!

    You can blame Google et al all you like but they are not the people who created the taxation system. It's politicians who create the tax system to benefit themselves. Essentially that talk with the corporations and say, "If you support us then we will create a fair tax system ... for you." So the Tories keep getting elected and when they are in power they create "Austerity" and sell off publically owned sections of the economy to their friends.

    Catching a train to work these days? Think how much Richard Beeching improved the rail service. Look at how well the NHS is doing now that large sections have be sold off to private enterprise. Big companies are now paying their workers huge increases ... "median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees in the UK were up 2.2% between April 2016 and 2017, rising from £539 to £550" - of course it's much more if you are only earning £12,000 a week.

    1. MatthewSt

      Re: Quit blaming big companies!

      > Look at how well the NHS is doing now that large sections have be sold off to private enterprise

      Are we looking at the same NHS? Cancer survival rates down, waiting times up. I can see exactly how well it's doing now that the politicians are selling it off and milking it for all it's worth

      1. MatthewSt

        Re: Quit blaming big companies!

        Just reread your post and I've a feeling you were being sarcastic!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    VAT a bigger fiddle for Google that Corporation Tax

    If the $5B of ads are not going through UK that is $1B a year of VAT the UK not getting in additon to maybe $0.5B of Corporation tax. Assume similar for Facebook and not too far behind for Amazon Ads which are a growing part of their revenue.

    Not sure of the rules for Streaming Video and games but if they are billed outside UK by Spotify, Netflix, Disney etc then that is Billions more we are losing

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