The Royal Gazette reports on Bermuda’s role in Google’s tiny tax bill in the UK; the article includes interesting comments from a local expert and also gives a flavour of the local political debate on tax. Sample quotes below, full article here.
“The tax spotlight was yesterday turned on Bermuda again after it was revealed that internet giants Google last year paid a tiny percentage in UK tax on sales of nearly $5 billion — by funnelling cash to the island.”
“But island economics expert Peter Everson said that multinationals wielded enormous power — and were able to get the tax arrangements they wanted.”
“He added of the UK and US: “All of their problems are written in the tax codes of the US and Britain. The reality is, if Washington wanted companies to pay more tax, it changes the law in Washington.
“These same guys who have all these foreign sales also contribute large amounts of campaign dollars.”
“Mr Everson was speaking after Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie told the UN it needed to take action to protect small island economies. Mr Perry said offshore jurisdictions were the victims of “ongoing economic aggression” by larger countries.
He said offshore jurisdictions should be regulated by UN-led mechanisms to balance the needs of both sectors. And he warned that crippling offshore economies would cause “tens of thousands of newly-empowered middle class citizens to slop back into poverty or to migrate to the developed world.””