French finance officials investigating tax fraud suspicions raided the Paris headquarters of American tech giant, Google.
100 tax officials reportedly forced entry into the Google offices in Paris in the early morning on May 24, 2016.
The reason for the raid was Google having been charged with owing $1.8 billion (€1.6 billion; £1.3 billion) in unpaid taxes.
“We comply with French law and are co-operating fully with the authorities to answer their questions,” stated Google after the raid.
Google is one of many large international businesses that have come under the scrutinizing eye of tax officials. Many companies, it is alleged, have been minimizing their tax bills by using what is tantamount to state aid from different European countries.
In the case of Google, specifically, they are accused of paying taxes in the Republic of Ireland when sales are made in the United Kingdom. In January, 2016, Google inked a deal with the United Kingdom and its tax authorities to pay an extra £130 million in taxes from a period beginning in 2005.
The deal was met with disapproval because of the small amount agreed to by the tax officials for such large perceived grosses for Google.
“[The deal between Google and UK tax officials] seems disproportionately small,” responded The United Kingdom Public Accounts Committee to the questionable deal.
In April, 2016, the European Union announced that it would work to force large international companies to declare publicly how much they paid in taxes in each EU country in which they did business. The businesses would also have to disclose activities in tax havens.