Major firms quizzed over tax

Starbucks, Google and Amazon are bring questioned by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee on the issue of tax avoidance. The multinational firms are accused of paying little or no tax on their UK earnings.

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Google accused of avoiding tax

Google will give evidence to Commons Public Accounts Committee inquiry today into taxation of multinational companies.

Google has been accused of not paying enough tax Credit: Martin Keene/PA Wire

Google's filings show it had $4 billion of sales in the UK last year, but despite having a group-wide profit margin of 33 percent, its main UK unit had a tax charge of just £3.4 million in 2011.

The company allegedly avoids UK tax by channeling non-U.S. sales via an Irish unit, an arrangement that allowed it to pay taxes at a rate of 3.2 percent on non-U.S. profits.

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