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The Tax Haven That’s Saving Google Billions

“The heart of Google’s (GOOG) international operations is a
silvery glass office building in central Dublin, a block from the
city’s Grand Canal. In 2009 the office, which houses roughly 2,000
Google employees, was credited with 88 percent of the search
juggernaut’s $12.5 billion in sales outside the U.S. Most of the
profits, however, went to the tax haven of Bermuda.

“To reduce its overseas tax bill, Google uses a complicated
legal structure that has saved it $3.1 billion since 2007 and
boosted last year’s overall earnings by 26 percent. While many
multinationals use similar structures, Google has managed to lower
its overseas tax rate more than its peers in the technology sector.
Its rate since 2007 has been 2.4 percent. According to company
disclosures, Apple (AAPL), Oracle (ORCL), Microsoft (MSFT), and IBM
(IBM)—which together with Google make up the top five
technology companies by market capitalization—reported tax
rates between 4.5 percent and 25.8 percent on their overseas
earnings from 2007 to 2009. “It’s remarkable that Google’s
effective rate is that low…””


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