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Denmark checking Google’s books to make sure US tech firm pays appropriate taxes

Denmark checking Google’s books to make sure US tech firm pays appropriate taxes
With the broader EU digital tax stuck in limbo, Denmark has launched its own review of Google’s accounts in the country. The Silicon Valley giant says it has complied with all Danish tax rules.

In a financial report for 2019 published on Monday, Google Denmark Aps said Danish tax authorities had “commenced a review of the open tax years concerning the company’s tax position.” Noting that the unit is still in talks on the matter, head of public policy at Google in Denmark, Christine Sorensen, said the company pays Denmark “the tax they ask us to.”

“It is no secret that as an international company, we pay most of our tax – more than 80% – in the United States, where we belong. Just like international Danish companies pay the greater part of their taxes in Denmark,” she said in a statement as cited by Reuters.  

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Denmark used to be one of the few EU states to oppose a digital tax targeting major US tech companies. The country changed its stance at the beginning of the year, with Denmark's prime minister voicing support to an EU-wide agreement on the tax that could affect such American companies as Google, Amazon and Apple.

While some European nations insist that American tech majors need to pay more in tax from the revenue they generate within the region, the US called the proposed plan discriminatory against its businesses and threatened to retaliate. The latest round of negotiations between EU and US officials in June resulted in failure, with the American side reportedly refusing to continue the talks due to lack of progress. 

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As Ireland, which hosts a number of large tech firms, remains one of the main stumbling blocks for a broader EU digital tax, some countries have already implemented the measure on their own. France became the first major European economy to do so, with Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire saying the measure would be applied this year regardless of the progress made on an international deal.

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