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Talking Schmidt: I’m rather perplexed by tax avoidance debate


In the latest in our Talking Schmidt series, Google exec chairman Eric Schmidt has told the BBC that he is “perplexed” as to why anyone should debate why a company that “tries to do the right thing” would route all its UK adword sales via Ireland to halve its tax bill.

What we are doing is legal. I’m rather perplexed by this debate, which has been going in the UK for some time, because I view taxes as not optional. I view that you should pay the taxes that are legally required. It’s not a debate. You pay the taxes …

Perplexing indeed that anyone would wish to debate the practice of claiming that all the UK adword revenue from UK businesses advertising products to UK customers on UK websites actually belongs in Ireland, a separate country whose corporate tax rate is half that of the UK, even when those sales appear to be made in the UK.

We’re also not quite sure how you can be perplexed by a debate you earlier said you welcomed …

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