Google now pays more money in EU fines than it pays in taxes

Graeme Burton:

And the company also took the time to separate out “European Commission fines” in its consolidated statements of income in the company’s accounts. These increased from $2.7 billion in 2017 to $5.1 billion in 2018, with a further €50 million already set to be added to the bill for its first quarter and 2019 accounts, thanks to French data protection authority CNIL.

That fine compares to a provision for income taxes of just $4.2 billion for 2018, or 12 per cent of its pre-tax income.

Net income for the full year increased by a 143 per cent from $12.67 billion to $30.74 billion thanks largely to a radically lower provision for income taxes – down from $14.5 billion to just $4.2 billion.

The company attributed this tax boost down to the US Tax Act of 2017, which had depressed net income in 2017. This had “resulted in additional tax expense of $9.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, primarily due to the one-time transition tax on accumulated foreign subsidiary earnings and deferred tax effects”, the company claimed in its earnings release [PDF].

The US remains the company’s largest market, accounting for 47 per cent of the company’s total turnover, while EMA is Alphabet’s second largest market, accounting for 31.4 per cent of the company’s fourth quarter revenues.

And, despite big spending on ‘moon shots’ and other research and development efforts, the company remains overwhelmingly dependent on Google and the market for online advertising for the lion’s share of its revenues. Indeed, Google accounted for all but $595 million of the company’s $136.8 billion in annual revenues.

Many taxpayer supported K-12 school districts, including Madison, use Google services.