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Google Tax


“Google Tax” is a term often used to describe a legal measure aimed at taxing multinational digital companies on their revenue generated within a certain country, despite their physical presence or headquarter being located elsewhere. It emerged due to the tax avoidance strategies used by companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook. The tax aims to ensure such companies pay their fair share to the economies from which they generate substantial revenue.


The phonetics for the keyword “Google Tax” are: /ˈɡuːɡl tæks/

Key Takeaways

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  1. Google Tax, also known as the Diverted Profits Tax, is a levy aimed at multinational enterprises with large digital revenues to discourage the practice of diverting their profits to low-tax or no-tax jurisdictions, further preventing corporate tax evasion.
  2. Introduced by countries like the UK and India, the tax asks large tech companies like Google to pay a certain percentage of their revenue gained within the introducing country, regardless of their physical presence there.
  3. While the Google Tax aims to provide a fair tax system, some argue it could lead to double taxation and possible trade conflicts between nations. Others claim it may not adequately address the key challenges present in digital taxation, necessitating a change in international tax rules.

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The term “Google Tax” is significant in the realm of business and finance as it refers to a levy aimed at multinational companies, particularly in the tech sector, which are thought to avoid paying their fair share of tax in countries where they generate substantial revenue. This tax is important because it attempts to rebalance the tax burden, ensuring that large corporations, like Google, contribute their due to the local economies they profit from. It is a response to the challenge posed by the digital economy, in which it’s possible for firms to earn significant income from customers in one country while booking those earnings in another, lower-tax jurisdiction. By enforcing such taxes, countries aim to prevent tax avoidance and secure more equitable contributions from global businesses.


The purpose of the Google Tax, as the name suggests, is to target large multinational enterprises, like Google, that operate in a country and generate significant profits there but maintain their tax bases in low-tax nations, thereby paying limited taxes where they make their profits. By exploiting the discrepancies and gaps in tax rules between different countries, these corporations can artificially reduce their tax liabilities. Most countries, where these companies perform their operations, consider this practice a severe loophole that affects their economies, thus introducing the “Google Tax”.The Google Tax aims at curbing this tax evasion by large multinational corporations and ensuring they pay their fair share of taxes, based on the total profits made in the operating country. It is used as an instrument for not only leveling the business playing field between multinational corporations and domestic businesses but also safeguarding the interests of the country where the revenue is being generated. By imposing this levy, countries hope to restore fairness in the tax system, increase tax revenue, and foster economic strength and stability.


1. United Kingdom: Google, as well as other big tech companies, have been targeted by the UK government with a so-called ‘Google Tax’ , officially known as the Diverted Profits Tax. It was first introduced in 2015 and imposed at a rate of 25%, aimed at companies that were found to be artificially diverting profits to low or no-tax jurisdictions. In 2019, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, was required to pay around £44 million in corporation taxes due to the levy.2. France: France introduced its own version of a ‘Google Tax’ in 2019 where it imposed a 3% levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with more than €25 million in French revenue and €750 million ($830 million) worldwide. Google, along with other digital giants like Amazon and Facebook, were significantly affected by this tax law.3. India: The Indian government enforced an equalization levy or ‘Google Tax’ in 2016. This counted for a 6% tax on the revenues generated from India by multinational companies from online advertising. In 2020, India extended this levy to include almost all online commerce activities done in India by businesses that do not have a taxable presence in the country, taxing them at 2% of their sales in the country. Google, being one of the major players, is significantly affected by these changes.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Google Tax?

Google Tax, officially known as the Diverted Profits Tax, is a nickname for a corporate tax implemented by several countries aimed at companies that earn significant income in their jurisdiction but pay little tax due to their local corporate structures.

Why is it called Google Tax?

The tax gained its nickname due to Google being one of the high-profile multinational companies accused of diverting their profits to low-tax jurisdictions, hence reducing their tax liabilities in countries where they generate significant revenue.

Which countries use Google Tax?

Several countries have implemented or are considering this type of tax, including the UK and Australia. It’s also being considered by some other countries in the European Union.

How does Google Tax work?

It works by imposing a tax rate on profits that are perceived to have been artificially diverted from a particular country by a corporate entity. It is meant to discourage large companies from diverting profits to low-tax jurisdictions.

Does the Google Tax apply to all businesses?

No, most jurisdictions implementing this type of tax typically target large multinational enterprises, especially tech companies. Each country has specific rules relating to revenue, profit margin, and other parameters to determine applicability.

How has Google Tax been received by businesses?

The response has been mixed. While some companies understand the need for fair taxation, others argue that it hampers trade and investment. It has also raised discussions about the need for a global consensus on taxing rights and profit allocation.

How is Google Tax calculated?

The calculation depends on the specifics of the legislation in each country. Generally, it involves determining the amount of profit considered to have been ‘diverted’ from the country, and then applying the relevant tax rate.

Related Finance Terms

  • Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)
  • Digital Services Tax (DST)
  • Profit Shifting
  • Corporate Tax Avoidance
  • International Tax Law

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