Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) pays next to no income taxes on European revenues. UK, France and Germany all have Google in their sights. Google currently designates units in those countries as providing marketing and support services to Google Ireland which in turn transfers most of its turnover to an affiliate in Bermuda.
The structure is legally sound for now. except the guys who make the laws no longer like it. Google is advertising for sales and marketing staff in UK, France and Germany. So if the sale becomes local because of the local sales and distribution arms taxes will become local as well.
European governments are all fighting austerity and other financial issues. Quite frankly they have no political choice but to increase tax revenues. Google is a fat cow which will be slaughtered as quickly as possible. The UK, France and Germany constitute and will always constitute the overwhelming bulk of Google European revenue.
While Google is currently in the tax mans sniper scope. Yahoo (Nasdaq:YHOO), Facebook (Nasdaq:FB) and Twitter (To be announced) who all will depend on European revenues will be treated in the same fashion.
Big increases coming to global income tax rates which means negative pressure on EPS and potential dividend rates.
Death and taxes are inevitable. Google is not on its death-bed so it must be taxes.
George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.