Alphabet Inc.’s, Google’s Irish subsidiary, said it would pay 218 million euros in backdated corporation tax to Irish authorities. “The company agreed to the resolution of certain tax matters relating to prior years,” according to company filings.
Google Ireland said it would pay corporation tax of €622m for 2020, including the €218m backdated settlement and interest charges. The previous year Google Ireland paid taxes of €263m.
The US tech company, which had been accused of avoiding hundreds of millions in tax across Europe through loopholes known as the “double Irish, Dutch sandwich”, said it had “agreed to the resolution of certain tax matters relating to prior years”.
The double Irish with a Dutch sandwich is a tax avoidance technique employed by certain large corporations. The scheme involves sending profits first through one Irish company, then to a Dutch company and finally to a second Irish company headquartered in a tax haven.
Google did not explain the reason for the back tax payment in its accounts. In the filing it said only: “Subsequent to year-end, the company agreed to the resolution of certain tax matters relating to prior years. This tax liability and associated interest are recognized in the current financial year.”
Ireland has become the base of European operations for several of the largest international companies, including Google, Apple Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook, in part because of its low rate of corporation tax.